Playground Remodel: Bringing Nature to Education

Play is critically important to the learning and healthy growth of children.  It is where they learn to solve problems, get along with others, and develop their fine and gross motor skills. Equally as important to a child’s development is their relationship to nature and the outdoors.

Earlier this year, in partnership with our Head Start parents, we began a process of re-imagining the playgrounds at three of our Head Start program sites in Hillsboro, Beaverton and at Coffee Creek. In 2017, all three playgrounds are scheduled to be transformed and incorporate the elements of nature like boulders, slopes, sand and water. This new environment will foster imaginative play, empowering children to develop creativity, resourcefulness and independence. Research shows that natural playgrounds improve mental health, strengthen attention levels, increase self discipline and fortify a sense of identity.

Thanks to one-time funding from the Oregon Department of Education we are able to begin this work and will complete the core elements of this project on time. Even with this tremendous support, there are elements – not currently funded – that we hope to include with help from our friends in the community. To learn more about this exciting transformation, and to see how you can get involved contact Kemp Shuey, Director of Resource Development at kshuey@caowash.org.