Beachburg Public School is one of the pilot Natural Play and Learning Spaces (NPLS) Project schools for the 2013-2014 school year. KidActive is currently still supporting the project.
In the spring of 2014 the school was awarded a $1000 grant from the Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds program and matched by the Petawawa Toyota dealership. In the fall of 2014 the school planted 15 new trees -- a few around the existing play structures and the majority to create a new outdoor meeting and learning space.
Using funds received from TD Friends of the Environment Fund, the outdoor meeting and learning space has come together in several stages. At the end of April the committee invited community members to use their chainsaws to create benches out of large donated pine trees. On May 27, the Natural Play Space committee invited the school community to join them in adding shrubs and perennials around the backstop area. The school is awaiting a few spruce trees, hostas and rocks that will be the final addition to this stage of the space.
There has been tremendous community engagement and support. A donation of concrete planters from McGregor’s Concrete has provided a planting space for each classroom. The logs for the benches were donated, as was the time involved to create them. A few large tractor tires have also been donated and will be installed with holes in the bottom for drainage and sand around them for safety. It’s amazing to see a community come together to support a school initiative to encourage active outdoor play and learning.