Assateague State Park - Nature Play Space

This nature play area is adjacent to the nature center and dunes that lead to the beach and ocean in Assateague State Park in Worcester County, Maryland. This area is used as an activity area and programming site, and is co-located to an existing structured playground. This site will take advantage of the location near the nature center and playground to invite children to explore the natural side of the dunes, grasses and other nature-based features.

This park typically faces such challenges as ponies that eat vegetation, winds and moving sand and the struggle to keep visitors off of the dunes. Future phases of the nature play area will provide an opportunity for kids to actually play on a created mini sand dune and explore a maze of shore grasses. Currently the nature play area features a stage, mushroom stump jumps, balancing logs, and an butterfly garden that compliments local monarch tagging programs hosted at the Park.

The nature play space is being installed in phases. The first phase which included the stage, garden, musical fence, fossil dig and balance logs was constructed and installed by the Maryland Conservation Corps (CJC), a summer jobs program which employs local youth. The crews from this program work in State parks across Maryland learning green job and team building skills and were a natural fit to partner on the installation of this space. The next phase of the site will be installed in fall/ winter of 2011/2012.

Stage or Platform Area
Stage / Platform Area


Musical Fence
Musical Fence​


Girl & boy balancing on log


Boy drumming in Natural Play Space

Butterfly Garden
Butterfly Garden​


Boy inside Teepee
Loose Parts ​


Girl Jumping Over Log


Also, features not pictured include:

  • Mushroom Stump Jump
  • Fossil Dig


Upcoming Phase to Include:

  • Nature Exploration Table
  • Nesting Observation Boxes
  • Mini Demonstration Dune
  • Vegetation Trail

Our Partners

  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Maryland Conservation Job Corps
  • Friends of Assateague