River Ramble Natural PlayScape (Coming in 2021)

River Ramble logo

Imagine an Outdoor Place for Kids...

Where they can climb, dig, build a shelter and crawl through tunnels... a place to explore, where unstructured play rules! The River Ramble Natural PlayScape is coming to St. Patrick's County Park in 2020!

We gathered ideas from park visitors and families in workshops and open houses, and here is the plan!

River Ramble Natural PlayScape Conceptual Rendering

How to Donate

Online click the green button below, or
Mail a contribution to Friends of St. Joseph County Parks, 50651 Laurel Road, South Bend, IN 46637 Attn: River Ramble

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Learning Through Play

The play features will be themed on the St. Joseph River, a natural resource that defines our community. Kids can:

  • create their own mini-river at the water pump and sand play area
  • climb a giant fishing net
  • build an eagle's nest
  • wander across a bridge over a mini-wetland
  • paddle a make-believe boat... and more.

Features will be connected with an accessible path inviting children of all abilities to play. Families can gather in the pavilion, share a bench, or hang out in hammocks, too.

Examples of Play Features

Outdoor Play Means Happy, Healthy Kids!

A growing body of research indicates active “free play” in natural settings boosts intellectual, emotional and social health. In addition, it provides an outlet for physical activity, which is often lacking in children who spend an average of 7 hours a day* in front of a screen. And it helps kids be better problem solvers as it boosts self-confidence. (*according to the CDC).

You Asked for It!

A natural playground was tied for the number one requested amenity during public input for St. Joseph County Parks Master Plan 2019-2023.

Master Plan Public Survey Results

Be a Part of the Team Bringing this Outdoor Experience to Children

We have outstanding support from key partners:

  • Visit South Bend-Mishawaka Tourism Enhancement Grant
  • St. Joseph County TEAM Grant
  • Young Professionals Network-South Bend Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Friends of St. Joseph County Parks
  • Friends of Bendix Woods and Spicer Lake
  • Community Foundation of St. Joseph County
  • CreatINg Places, a program of IHCDA