Welcome to the process, this project is ongoing.....

The Children Belong to the City Playground project builds on existing efforts to connect children at the Burlington Children’s Space and local outdoor spaces including the Intervale gardens and walking paths, local community garden sites, public parks and green spaces, and the city’s waterfront. The focus of this project is the development of a new playground for The Burlington Children’s Space incorporating elements from public spaces around the city that promote open ended play, physical challenges, and interest in the natural world throughout the seasons. Children, teachers, and parents will be involved in various outings to observe, play, and collect ideas. The process provides many opportunities for children, teachers and parents to share healthy activities such as neighborhood walks, visits to parks and gardens, and open ended outdoor play.

We have been really busy....

On the surface our playground looks remarkably unchanged....but behind the scenes we have been busy interviewing contractors, touring the site and collecting bids. At the same time teachers at BCS have spent many long nights putting together an excellent exhibit documenting our explorations of the city with several other local early childhood programs. This idea of going out into the city and collecting ideas and inspiration is how our playground project got started more than two years ago. It is exciting to see we are still out there researching and documenting children's learning, collecting ideas and making children's learning visible. Please try to check out the exhibit at the Metropolitan Gallery from now until August 4 any time city Hall is open ( this does not usually include Saturdays). In conjunction with the exhibit, photos are also on display at 18 local businesses, see if you can spot any familiar faces in windows around town.

After many meetings and long conversations we have our first contractor- ready to begin on the infant garden in a few short weeks!

The selection process was long, but fun. Jon and Danielle were interested in feedback about how the contractors would approach the construction and if they had questions about details of the design. The BCSers were, as always , interested in the process. We wanted to know what kind of experience a contractor had working with teachers, parent volunteers, interested neighbors, and especially children. Were they able to think through the details of life on a construction site with 40 inquisitive audience members? Were they willing to make use of our small army of excited volunteers who have been eagerly awaiting a chance to get involved? What made them excited about and interested in the project and BCS? These were wonderful discussion about where to get large quantities of hard hats and safety goggles!

During these conversations we discovered that Charley Mac Martin of Queen City Soil and Stone was uniquely suited to our project. As a former teacher of young children Charley has some great ideas about how to safely include children in the project. As a current teacher of stone wall workshops he is prepared to work with volunteers ( those lucky volunteers!). Charley's work can be seen at http://queencitysoilandstone.com/. Nex up volunteer opportunties. Stay tuned.