When Donna Van Durzen, a second grade teacher at Camas Ridge Community Elementary, heard about the playground renovations scheduled to take place this summer at Amazon Park, she saw a perfect, project based learning opportunity. She developed an exercise where her second graders could learn about park design, submit designs and have their designs evaluated.
Kids took a walking field trip to the park and learned about the renovations with Katie Blair-Terrazas, Eugene Outdoors, Park Development Volunteer Coordinator. She told them that later this summer they would see construction equipment and workers move in to the site to remove old and well-used play equipment and the decommissioned wading pool. In their place will arrive new playground structures, improved play area drainage and surfacing, new lawns, walks, trees and park furniture. Happily, our friend the dinosaur will remain to continue marking years of fun at this wonderful playground. Overall, the intent with this playground is to make it as universally accessible and inclusive as possible.
The class took the message of creating an accessible and inclusive playground to heart and teamed up to design their dream playgrounds. The results were impressive!
The project finished with another visit from Katie Blair-Terrazas to review the ideas and hear what kids wanted for the future of Amazon Park. Thank you Donna and Katie for leading the way on a fantastic, community learning partnership!