An outpouring of community support and progress was made over the Labour Day weekend for the natural playground at Dundas Central.
Families, school staff and neighbours put in more than 1,500 hours of volunteer time to prepare the outdoor areas, resulting in many wonderful surprises. A dying ancient silver maple tree from Westdale was re-purposed into a giant log climbing cluster and activity tables, and John Flatt amazed everyone by creating chain saw furniture.
Last Wednesday, teacher Heidi Siwak went out on Nutrition Break to watch the kindergarten children on their first day in the new natural playground.
“I was astounded at how different their play was and how joyful they were,” she said. “As a teacher, I am so appreciative of what the community has accomplished because this is going to make our jobs easier. I can’t wait to see how older students react once their space opens.”
After the gravel paths and southeast entrance are complete, the east side, including the log cluster and interpretive wetland will be accessible. The grass in other areas will take four to six weeks to fully establish.
On Saturday, Sept. 14 from 11 a.m to 4 p.m., volunteers are invited to a Community Build Day to work on final details, cleanup and an informal celebration of the new space. Children will paint panels for a fence installation and lend their artistic flair for the Elgin Street mural. St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre will be on hand to lead plantings along the Melville Street fence which is now part of the Bruce Trail.
An official grand opening on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 5pm will include a barbecue, music and a school open house. Everyone is invited to share in the special event.
For more information, visit www.friendsofdundascentral.yolasite.com.