Nature Exploration Areas (NEAs) are built play and learning environments made of local, natural materials designed for rich, sensory play experiences. Advantageous to kids, the environment, and the community, NEAs are becoming increasingly popular as a way to introduce outdoor play in areas without equitable access to nature.


  • Give children the full range of physical, mental, social-emotional, and developmental benefits of play plus the environmental benefits of nature exploration.
  • Engage community members to work toward a common goal.
  • Participate and lead a planning process to help you fundraise, build relationships and develop media relations skills that will strengthen your community and can be used for future projects.

Eligibility and Qualifications

Opportunities for Community-Built Playspaces are specific to certain cities or metropolitan areas within the United States. Find out where we currently have open opportunities.


  • Serve youth from low-income populations and demonstrate the need for an engaging space for kids and older youth to play sports.
  • Work with the community, with guidance from dedicated KABOOM! Community Engagement and Build Managers., to fundraise toward the cost of equipment.
  • Own the land on which you wish to build, or have a long-term lease and get permission from the landowner to construct a sports court.
  • Demonstrate ability to recruit a team of parents, neighbors, and community members who are excited about serving on the planning committee for an eight to ten-week period, plus recruit approximately 125-200 community members to participate on Build Day.
  • Complete any needed site preparation to create a flat asphalt or concrete slab with dimensions from 3,000 sq. ft. to 3,500 sq. ft.
  • Secure soil tests, utility checks, and build permits in a timely manner.
  • Identify community resources to secure additional in-kind contributions such as breakfast and lunch for Build Week, tools, restroom facilities and a dumpster.
  • Accept ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the sports court upon completion of project.

Apply for a Nature Exploration Area

Take our eligibility to quiz to quickly determine if your community is eligible for a Nature Exploration Area opportunity.

Take the Eligibility Quiz