Energy-Harvesting Adult Playground

Differentiator

Western Michigan University is the only place that offers an outdoor adult playground that harvests energy.

Features

  • Encourages students, faculty, and staff to engage with the out of doors and "unplug."
  • Creates an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to exercise on campus in a culturally acceptable location.
  • Contributes to WMU's desire to be a sustainable campus and seek out opportunities to be innovative when it comes to energy resources.
  • Highly attractive and unique designated outdoor exercise space would be an excellent recruiting tool for incoming students.

Benefits

  • This project would entail creating a welcoming green space, beautifully and creatively landscaped (think Edward Scissorhands), that would feature the standard walking paths, but also adult playground equipment (not just outdoor gym machines or simple monkey bars/swings), but in particular, investing in energy-harvesting playground equipment such as the new designs by Andrew Simoeni, Joel Lim and Funfere Koroye (https://www.offgridenergyindependence.com/articles/4393/playground-produ...). Lastly, a beautifully-landscaped meditation area for yoga and other independent exercise would prove very beneficial. This proposal would tie into WMU's sustainability initiative.
  • Increasing students' access to nature and fresh air is paramount to providing a holistic lifestyle to students on campus, as increased studies show that an intimate connection to nature increases wellness. Lastly, just as green spaces were created in Edinburgh, Scotland during times of wide-spread illness, the cultivation of an intentional green space at WMU designated for exercise, meditation, intimacy with nature, and self-reflection is essential for creating a holistic and well-balanced campus environment which reflects that health and wellness of all campus-dwellers is a priority.