Design Guide for Barefoot Parks

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Sensation paths -- loose materials


  Every barefoot walk should provide the opportunity to feel different materials with the soles. Tough materials like gravel or coarse wood chips may only be used for short stretches, otherwise a pleasant ground should prevail.
enlargeable thumbnails:
Sand and gravel
Everyone likes to go barefoot on sand. This helps us get familiar with unshod walking at the beginning of the walk.
maikammer_sand.jpg (89545 Byte)
  rollkiesfeld.jpg (72844 Byte)Rounded gravel is available in gradings of e.g. 4-8 mm, 8-16 mm 16-32 mm. The latter grade is somewhat painful and only recommended for a stretch up to 5 m (6 yards).  rollkies_4_8.jpg (70136 Byte) rollkies_8_16.jpg (93763 Byte) rollkies_16_32.jpg (97712 Byte)
4/8           8/16         16/32

To convert gradings to US metric system follow this link.

  Sharp-edged chippings are only recommended in the finest gradings, e.g. 2-5 mm or 4-8 mm. splitt.jpg (173395 Byte)
  Coarse-grained and sharp-edged gravel is not suited for going barefoot. Dutiful daddies may like this as a dare to demonstrate true manliness.....

oetis_ziegel.jpg (76494 Byte) granit.jpg (90228 Byte) grobkies.jpg (44712 Byte)
Brick chips     Granite        Coarse gravel

basalt.jpg (59413 Byte) jurakalk.jpg (40494 Byte)
Basalt            Limestone


Natural materials Mulch from fir bark should be placed in shadowy areas, because it gets prickly on drying. At sunny places, pine mulch is somewhat more suited.  kiefernrinde.jpg (139260 Byte) fichtenrinde.jpg (105944 Byte)
Pine mulch           Fir mulch
  Fir cones give an excellent foot massage, whereas pine cones are too prickly. In dryness and heat both tend to fluff up and to disintegrate. Therefore the cones shall be placed in shadowy and somewhat moist areas. A group of children might help collect a lot of cones, preferably those freshly fallen from the trees. zapfen.jpg (66624 Byte)
  The soft needles of the larch fall in autumn and form an exceptionally soft carpet on the forest soil. Some ten thousand visitors will compact them, but they continue to be an enjoyable ground.

From hard ground below larches, the needles can be collected with a snow push in late autumn.

laerche.jpg (58288 Byte)
  The diversity of nature yields numerous materials for sensory experience.

oetis_korken.jpg (58439 Byte) nussschalen.JPG (52710 Byte) traubenkerne.jpg (88819 Byte)
Corks           Nutshells       Grape seeds

hopfen.jpg (90399 Byte) spelzen.jpg (105457 Byte) stoeckchen.jpg (74227 Byte)
Hop branches    Barley husk         Sticks

and more .....

And above all:
broken glass!
Sufficiently blunted glass chippings from recycled material can be purchased in different gradings and colors. Choice of an uncommon color is recommended to discourage potential bad jokes and vandalism with freshly broken glass. dornst_scherben.jpg (105426 Byte)
  Glass tends to adhere a bit to the soles and to be carried forward by the feet. Therefore it is recommended to place a grid at the end of the broken glass field. glasstrecke.jpg (147250 Byte)

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