Sam Crosby

Sam Crosby

Coordinator of Education and Community Programs, Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands

Sam Crosby is the Coordinator of Education and Community Programs for the Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands in Sydney. She is a passionate and experienced nature educator, eco-artist, storyteller, trainer and researcher with a love of the natural world, play and outdoor learning and has worked both in Australia and internationally.

At Centennial Parklands she has led on the Wild Play revolution, developing and delivering nature play programs to thousands of people which then resulted in the development Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden which since October 2018 has had over 300,000 people through the gates engaging in nature play.


What Really Happens in a Wild Play Garden?

In 2017, Centennial Parklands opened the first state-of-the-art wild play Garden for NSW, The Ian Potter Children's WILD PLAY Garden. Since then it has won seven awards including Australia's best place space, and received over 300,000 visits making it one of the most visited spaces in Centennial Park.

To find out what happens in this space to children, families and community, we engaged with the Western Sydney University to undertake a mixed method research project. Over the past 12 months the research has engaged over 500 participants with the aim to examine the play space's inclusivity, diversity, physical literacy, nature connection and to gain an understanding of the overall benefits.

In this presentation we will discuss:

  • research methodology
  • disseminate the research results
  • understand who visits and what really happens when people visit the Garden
  • provide feedback and learnings for those who are thinking of developing their own nature play spaces

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What our Delegates are Saying

"I'm going to seek new ideas and learn from experience of other projects to constantly improve the way we manage our parks and open space . I'm looking forward to learning more around Parks & Open Space, Healthy Active Play and Trees and Gardens"

Jacqui, Manager City Reserves, City of Albany (WA)

"I love to listen, learn, share and spend time with likeminded and inspirational colleagues who are transforming the world park by park, facility by facility, program by program. I am looking forward to seeing Kia Dowell and Katie Sarah. I love being inspired and challenged to make a difference and grow as a leader and contributor to our industry".

Carly, Team Leader Recreation Planning, City of Casey (VIC)

"It is important to keep abreast of latest industry trends, best practice case studies and the valuable networking opportunities. I am looking forward to hearing from Jack Kardys regarding the evolving role of parks - driving health, happiness and economic prosperity".

Matt, Manager Active Communities, City of Holdfast Bay

"I can't wait to meet new people and catch up with old friends at PLA2019. I haven't been to Perth for many years and I'm looking forward to seeing the beautiful parks"

Neil, Parks Planner, Parks Victoria

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