About Red Soil Nature Play
Red Soil Nature Play is a social venture that aims to connect children and nature in urban cities.
Red Soil Nature Play was founded by young parents, Amrutha Preetham and Senthil Nathan, living in the city of Bengaluru, India. It was born out of a yearning to provide a nurturing space for their new born child. Red Soil Nature Play calls attention to
- The importance of unstructured free play in childhood
- Spending time outdoors in nature
- The need for more green public spaces in urban neighbourhood
Red Soil Nature Play strives to renew the way we see open public spaces and parks and be a model sustainable environment to live and play.
What is Red Soil Nature Play?
Red Soil Nature Play is an outdoor play environment for young children. It is a nurturing space for children to immerse themselves in nature; to wonder, explore, discover, connect and experience a sense of place and belonging with the natural surroundings. Children have the opportunities to play with diverse natural elements, materials and habitats.
Red Soil Nature Play is the first nature play habitat to connect nature and children in the city of Bengaluru. The environment is spread across approximately 2 acres of land and was developed from the ground up. The barren land was restored by planting a lot of indigenous trees. A wide assortment of vegetables, grains, herbs and plants were grown. The uniqueness of Red Soil Nature Play is the interwoven environment where nature play areas are set within a flourishing ecosystem. It is a sustainable environment where the built structures are made of natural building materials; Rain water harvesting, composting and growing of diverse plants and crops have been meticulously incorporated within the ecosystem.
The sense of the place is to inspire and ignite young minds to explore and experience nature in a peaceful unhurried manner. Red Soil Nature Play nurtures children and their parents and creates a peaceful and calm atmosphere for parents to observe and cherish the natural blossoming of their child.
At Red soil nature Play, children can run wild and free. They can climb trees, jump on rocks and boulders, play with water from a stream, make mud pies in the mud kitchen, stomp their feet in a mud pool, hang around butterflies and birds, water plants, run through tunnels, or just day dream. There are infinite opportunities for nature play depending on what the child wants to do.
Social objectives of Red Soil Nature Play
- To be a model sustainable environment to learn, live and play
- To revitalize childhood environments in India
- To renew the way we design & operate open public spaces & parks for children (especially children’s parks / bal bhavans)
- To blend Nature Play and Permaculture together so that the future generations can lead and live in a sustainable Earth
- To protect Children’s rights and Rights to Play as per UN children rights act
- To be an active partner in Promoting Spaces for Children in Cities and Designing Child friendly Cities
We are Amrutha Preetham and Senthil Nathan, Co-founders of Red Soil Nature Play. We would love to share with you the story and thoughts behind the beginning of Red Soil.
“It was that time of the year when winter reached its full course and a whole new season transcended the cold weather of January. The sun shone. The flowers blossomed. Crops were ready for harvest…..A new life sprouted”
Red Soil was born out of an immense need for providing an environment with an abundance of nature, for our new born baby. As young parents yearning to provide a nurturing space for our child, we were certain that nature was what our child needs to learn about all that’s needed to live a wonderful life.
From the day our baby was born, we passionately worked towards finding places filled with nature’s bounty. We visited lakes, parks and faraway resorts. Yet, we craved for a space, where a child can be let free, free to play, free to wander, wonder and explore the natural habitat around them.
We were rest assured that an intimate connection with nature in early childhood is a basic necessity to create a generation of compassionate individuals, individuals who are able to live in peace with themselves.
Play is how young children encounter life. Understanding life through play in a diverse landscape where they watch plants, trees and various crops grow is an enriching experience. To provide an ecosystem to nourish children’s exploration and learning, we’ve embedded a ‘Permaculture environment’ with our ‘Nature play areas’. Nature play and Permaculture complement each other beautifully providing children with knowledge about human life, and it’s interdependence with earth’s remarkable living systems.
‘Everything exists because it depends’
Play positively impacts the child only when it is lead by the child, which means, the child has to be let free, free to do anything she wants at her own pace in a safe natural environment. Uninterrupted inner-directed play builds intrinsic motivation which is the foundation for lifelong learning. Such play is made possible only by adults who are sensible and aware of its importance. At Red Soil Nature Play, we provide guidelines for a calm and respectful approach to parenting and support parents in their learning.
With these thoughts in mind we envisioned a landscape which was in real need, for the young children of Bengaluru. And thus Red Soil was conceived.
About the Co-Founders
Amrutha Preetham is a textile engineer and a post graduate in business management by qualification. Her passion towards early childhood development and education ignited her to envision Red Soil Nature Play. She brings her knowledge of planning and management as a key strength to the environment.
Senthil is the principal architect of Poetics (www.poetics.one). His work focuses on land, people and their environment and aim to create harmony among them. He is actively engaged in research studies on Children, City and Permaculture. His strong concerns about the lack of green spaces for nature play have been a driving force behind the development of Red Soil Nature Play, a natural habitat for children. He also founded ‘ArChildren’, a program which introduces architecture and nature to children of Bengaluru. Poetics has been recognized as one of the ‘Top Ten Young practices’ in Karnataka state, India by IIA (Indian Institute of Architects) in 2016. In September 2017, he presented a research paper on “Permaculture and Children of the City” at UIA (International Union of Architects) congress in Seoul. Senthil is an alumnus of ‘Glenn Murcutt International Master Class’, a design-studio program in Australia, conducted by Pritzker Prize awarded Architect Glenn Murcutt. He also participated in ‘BASEhabitat International Summer School’ on Modern Earthen Architecture and Bamboo Constructions, conducted by University of Art and Design in Linz, Austria. Before starting his own practice in 2005, he has worked with India’s Master architects, Sanjay Mohe and Christopher Charles Benninger. Senthil is also an artist and exhibited various art installation works in private galleries and public spaces.