Monday, April 23, 2012

Nature Play Completed at Pathfinder Academy

Anyone who has tried to build a natural play area from the ground up, with a low budget, but a lot of heart can count another win for their team this spring. I originally posted about the Pathfinder Academy last spring as I helped them develop a concept plan for their play area. This spring the play area is done and getting lots of use!

Their courtyard play areas is fantastic. Surrounded on three sides by walls with large windows this play courtyard will be a central piece in the Pathfinder Academy setting and the surrounding community. The change in topography offered opportunities for climbing and sliding between a top terrace and bottom area.

The water feature is beautiful and a great idea for such a small play area. Kids can touch the water but are limited in how wet and muddy they can get. Rain barrels demonstrate how water can be taken from the large surrounding roofs and reused for the water feature and gardens.

Most projects have a few dedicated people that put in the time and effort to make them happen. Beyond school staff this project had Daryl Newmark a community volunteer who kept everyone moving forward and excited about the project and Scott Calvin of Able Irrigation who offered the installation expertice needed to get the project built.

The Pathfinder Academy successfully helps teen and young parents (up to age 21) who have dropped out of high school to re-enter school and earn their GED. The classrooms is often filled with young adult students and their young children. This play area gives both generations a chance to interact, engage in creative play and grow together. The students helped pick elements and decide on areas where their children would play. Overall, it is a very successful project.

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