Annapolis Play and Learn

The Annapolis Play and Learn project includes the creation of a nature play space and rain garden at the Tawes State Office Building daycare. This project will not only provides environmental benefit to the area through the removal of impervious surface and creation of habitat and green space, but also provides a rich learning and play environment for the children and students of the Center. The project has been supported by curriculum, teacher training and parent outreach.

Special attention was given to make this an extension of the Tawes Garden, the 6-acre garden behind the Department of Natural Resources that represents all the regions of the State of Maryland. The project includes creation of an outdoor classroom area that double as a climbing area, a maze of native grasses, a raingarden and raingarden observation platform that doubles as a stage and new terrain and pathways for kids to explore where there was previously a large concrete pad. The space also includes the simple placement of boulders and a large tree for climbing, and a large live willow tunnel for exploring and hiding.

Because this nature play space is a daycare center, the space also includes a separate space designed exclusively for toddlers. This space includes a blueberry bush hiding area, a sensory garden and a live willow hut.



Climbing logs
Climbing Log


Rain garden
Rain Garden


Observation deck
Observation Deck




Tree stumps
Tree Stumps Jump

Sensory garden
Sensory Garden


Blueberry hiding area
Blueberry Hiding Area


Willow hut
Willow Hut


Willow tunnel
Willow Tunnel


Grass maze
Grass Maze

Our Partners

  • Play Centers Inc.
  • UnityGardens
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Maryland Department of General Services
  • Chesapeake Bay Trust
  • UMBC
  • Willow Oak Group
  • Chesapeake Outdoors Group (COG)
  • Parents and families of the student