Hi – I’m Rusty and I’m glad you are here. I am excited to help you with your dreams of natural playgrounds and adventures into risky play!

I am a playspace designer who has worked for nearly 30 years with hundreds of school and community leaders to design and build beautiful outdoor environments for children. I love helping folks like you create playscapes that celebrate the wonder of nature and support children’s right to play!

Rusty's Latest Book

Adventures in Risky Play goes to the heart of risk-taking and children. As parents and educators working with young children, we all have boundaries and feelings around what risky play should be allowed. Rusty Keeler invites us to examine the cage of boundaries that we have created for ourselves and our children.

New Online Courses!

NATURAL PLAYSCAPE DESIGN is the latest online offer from Rusty Keeler. Join Rusty for this six-part course that will take you deep into the world of Natural Playscape Design.

my services

Do you need help with a design? Are you looking for an inspiring keynote presentation? Want to take a workshop or online course? Or maybe you need some nature play products for your yard? This is the place!


“Rusty has an innate ability to draw you in the moment he starts talking. His calm and collected demeanor coupled with his deep knowledge base in risky play create a dynamic atmosphere in his presentations. Participants could be overheard discussing the nostalgia of their own early childhood play, how it has shifted, and how they would like to bring it back once again. On the logistical end of things, Rusty is approachable, responsive, flexible, and very easy to talk to. It was an absolute pleasure working with him!”

Aimee Pryba, NY Association for the Education of Young Children,

Beauty of Play

Where did you play as a child? In nature? In vacant lots? On the street? In your backyard? Were you a free range kid? All children deserve great places to play. Let’s create them for today’s children!

Nature play

Living willow huts, hills, sand and water play, trees, gardens, paths, herbs, butterflies, hidey nooks and more — all with a variety of sounds, smells, textures and tastes.

Adventure play

Rough and tumble landscapes that support open-ended, child-directed free play with loose materials and endless possibilities for children to create their own play, get messy, and take risks!

risky Play

Risk-taking is essential for the healthy development of children’s minds, bodies and spirits  — it’s how they learn and grow! It’s important for adults to take deep breaths and create opportunities for risky play.


Take a look at some of my past projects  to get an idea for how I can help you!

I’ve spent a lot of time designing and building natural playscapes with excited communities over the years. I love it. Take a look at some of the projects I’ve worked on. You can do it too!

Tour a playscape

Spend a few minutes in this park-like preschool playscape designed by Rusty and community-built with Rusty’s guidance. A sweet space!

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