Three playhouse designs to be selected for site at botanic garden
Whether you’re an architect, contractor, design-build team, artist, hobbyist or student, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is looking for interested parties to help build nature playhouses that encourage the community — especially families — to get outdoors and play in the natural world.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 Backcountry Casitas Program.
Three designs will be chosen and installed in a new section of the garden opening in June. All selected partners will receive a $5,000 stipend to support their building project.
Interested parties are encouraged to attend the pre-design Zoom meeting hosted by the garden at 4 p.m. Tuesday. To receive a link, RSVP at email@example.com.
Final designs need to be submitted no later than 5 p.m. Dec. 15.
While all designs are accepted, the garden strongly encourages those built with natural materials and appropriate for the target audience, which is ages 5 to 13. But it’s appropriate for engagement with families and guests of all ages.
The selection committee will be judging designs based on the following criteria:
— Creativity, imagination and environmentally conscious design.
— Engaging for the entire family.
— Good collaboration between individuals and/or businesses.
— Creative use of materials.
— Flexibility in installation and movement of the casitas.
— Durability of structure for weather and heavy use by children.
— Relation to the garden’s mission, which is fostering the conservation of California’s native plants.
In its inaugural year, the 2019 Casitas program featured six unique designs built in partnership with local businesses and talent.
Each nature playhouse invited garden guests to explore, discover and experience firsthand the wonder of nature through whimsical, interactive exhibits that were featured from six months to two years.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing our Casitas program back with the public opening of this new garden space in June 2022,” said Joe Rothleutner, director of horticulture and facilities. “This is such a fun and creative way to promote local talent while adding a new immersive dimension to the garden. I’m looking forward to working with all our new partners and inviting families to connect with nature and native plants through this experience.”