CANMORE – A multi-year project to create an outdoor play and learning space for Canmore elementary students will finally see the fruits of its labour.
As Alpenglow Community School’s natural playground and outdoor learning space nears completion, the innovative project is designed to provide students and teachers a new place for hands-on learning, exploration and discovery on a daily basis.
“We can take all of the lessons outside, which we’ve always loved, but then with the current status of life and COVID, I think this outdoor classroom is even more timely than ever before,” said Jolene Gunn, parent-volunteer for Alpenglow Community Education Society (ACES).
Located on the Canmore Collegiate High School grounds, the space is being developed into a multi-purpose, all weather classroom for students educated under Waldorf, a non-traditional style of education designed to exemplify hands-on environmental and outdoor learning. Alpenglow School is a part of Canadian Rockies Public Schools.
“This is just something that will enhance a lot of the elements of our school that we already have,” Gunn said.
The project is expected to be completed next week in time for the new school year and will include an outdoor classroom, wooden log play structure, slides, and sand pit, among others.
A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony isn’t planned due to COVID-19.
ACES raised $75,000 in community fundraising efforts over the past few years and received $145,000 in grants from the provincial government and TD Canada Trust.
After a few years of fundraising and tireless efforts, Gunn is thrilled to have reached this point.
“It’s really nice to see the many hours of hard work put in by our community come to fruition,” said Gunn. “I think it will be so great for the start of this year given the circumstances.”