Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park is a place for children to connect with nature. It is also the home of Kings Park Education.
When it opened in October 2011, the project was the first of its kind in the world. Since then, we have welcomed around 80,000 visitors each year and many other organisations have started to deliver similar projects around the globe.
A second phase of development is set to take place in Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park in 2016/2017.
The original idea for this project arose from growing community concerns that urban children are spending less time exploring nature outdoors and, as such, are increasingly disconnected from the natural world.
This prompted us to as the question:
‘How can we expect children to care for something they have never experienced?’
Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park delivers a practical response to this issue. The purpose of this space is to encourage young Western Australians to love and protect our unique and precious environment by providing a hands-on experience of nature.
As a conservation organisation, this is an important priority for Kings Park and Botanic Garden. The benefits for children of unstructured outdoor activity on mental health, social and cognitive skills, problem solving, physical fitness and healthy development are also clear.
This project has been made possible through a large cross-sector partnership with Rio Tinto, Water Corporation and the Friends of Kings Park with Lotterywest.
These committed project partners have shared our vision and made it possible to deliver this legacy project to the children of Western Australia.
Rio Tinto is the major partner for this project, contributing significant funding and in-kind support until at least 2020.
A team of amazing volunteers operates in Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park.
Naturescaper volunteers assist with education programs for schools, nature activities, welcoming visitors and ensuring a safe experience for all.
These volunteers receive training and ongoing development opportunities. We encourage interested people from all walks of life to apply to become a Naturescaper. We seek volunteers who are willing to take part in training and provide a minimum commitment of six months to the role.
Contact the Volunteer Coordinator for further information.
- Nature Play WA website
- Kidsafe WA website
- Richard Louv's website
- Children and Nature Network
- Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Louv. R. (2005). Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books.
Rinker, H.B. (2002), The Weight of a Petal: The Value of Botanical Gardens. An ActionBioscience.org original article.