Outdoor Natural Play Area Come out and play in the dirt, create a masterpiece with sticks, hop on log stepping stones, dig in the garden bin, hunt for bugs and have some fun! The area is sensory-rich and a treasure trove of experiential learning, imagination and wonder.
The space features natural elements for play, intentionally designed to engage children with nature. We use the area for various nature programs and it is also be open for public use during select hours.
Research has found that frequent, unstructured play in natural environments is a strong positive influence on the developmental needs of young children. Benches are available for parents while children craft their own activities using natural materials.
Scheduled Open Hours:
September 19, 3-6 pm
October 6, 1-4 pm
October 17, 3-6 pm
November 3, 1-4 pm
November 4, 1-4 pm
November 21, 3-6 pm
December 1, 1-4 pm
December 9, 1-4 pm
December 19, 3-6 pm
Meet Our Naturalists:
Hello fellow nature lovers! Please allow me to introduce myself…my name is Lauren Azoury and I am the Naturalist for West Bloomfield Parks. I have been teaching nature education programs at Oakland County Parks since 2007. Prior to that I had an amazing experience as a team member of the animal presenter team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. My Bachelors of Science degree in Fisheries & Wildlife comes from Michigan State University. (Go Green!)
I am excited to be a part of the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation team and am looking forward to teaching new and innovative nature interpretive programs. I love sharing my passion for the outdoors with others. Please take a look at the Nature Interpretive section on the online registration page to see some of the programs I am teaching this year. I would love for you and your group to come visit me at the Nature Center too! There are lots of options for nature appointments.
I have been involved in nature interpretation since 2010, when I started working for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). I spent five summers as a State Park Explorer Guide at William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor in Detroit. In 2015, I was hired as an educational programmer at the new Michigan DNR Outdoor Adventure Center. I established and led all archery programing as well as taught natural and cultural resource programs.
I have been a USA Archery Certified Instructor since 2013. I’m also a certified as a Conservation Steward through Michigan State University Extension. In addition to my work with the Michigan DNR, I was the City of Rochester Hills’ Environmental Educator from 2011 to this past February when I accepted the full time naturalist position with West Bloomfield Parks.
I grew up in Southeast Michigan. I attended Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights and received my bachelor's degree from Wayne State University. When I’m not teaching nature programs, I enjoy practicing archery, taking hikes in nature and going on adventures with friends and family around Michigan. I am so excited to join this outstanding team and look forward to sharing my knowledge and passion of nature with the residents of West Bloomfield.