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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET A natural playscape may contain many different natural materials—logs, sand, mulch, rocks, wood in many forms, pods, shells, and seeds for children to explore. However, plants are the key to making a natural play space come alive. In fact, Nature Explore cer- tification requires the installation of either a garden area or a walkway through plantings. Plants not only bring life to the environment, but they become an incubator for other liv- ing things. Subterranean creatures, such as worms and grubs, move in. Insects arrive to check out the plants or each other. Butterflies and bees feed on the nectar in the flowers. Birds and small mammals find places to nest and food to eat. In a short time, a new ecosystem evolves. In chapters 3 and 4 of this book, we offer suggestions on the best way to assess your environment and resources to plan and install a sustainable garden in an outdoor nature playscape. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Why Garden?  •  11