Youth design team plans for Project 1107 children’s area

Published 12:18 am Sunday, November 6, 2016

This week, a 25-member youth design team consisting of Clark County children in fourth through sixth grades took the lead in designing a two-acre portion of Project 1107 dedicated to children’s play.

The members of the youth design team represent a diverse group of students from area public, private and home schools.

The students became “play experts” as they participated in a three-day series of workshops where they were asked to investigate, research and discover “forward-leaning play options that will create inspiring spaces for engaged learning and play,” according to Beth Jones, program officers for built environment at The Greater Clark Foundation.

The workshops were conducted by GCF and Learning Landscapes Design, a leading national landscape design and sustainability firm.

Jones said the students first worked in teams to explore different “play topics,” like swinging, sliding and climbing. The team was asked to talk about what they like and don’t like a variety of examples of each play topic. They also considered accessibility for children of all sizes and physical abilities.

“The students got really detailed about making sure the playground was accessible,” Jones said. “They brought that up themselves as they were presenting their opinions about the play topics.”

Students then voted on their favorite examples, and were asked to build a model based on what they would like to see at the play area.

The youth design team shared its findings and ideas with neighbors and friends at a Community Playground Workshop Saturday morning. At the workshop, the community viewed

Learning Landscapes will utilize the team’s ideas in creating the playspace design. The children will review the initial plans and be invited on-site to see the playspace become reality once construction begins.

“What an incredible opportunity for the students in the community to contribute to a playground that is going to bring so much joy to the community,” Susan Jacobs, vice principal of Baker Intermediate School, which hosted the workshops, said. “

Michelle Mathis, principal at Learning Landscapes, discussed the importance of play for children, its impact on communities, the types of designs possible and options for Winchester at a presentation Friday night.

Project 1107 is an imaginative public green space being created by GCF.

It will transform the nearly 30 acres of land that was the site of Winchester’s Clark Regional Medical Center into an iconic space that will draw visitors  from the region.

Aside from the children’s playspace, there will be trails, native plants, large lawns and event spaces.

Work continues to prepare the site for groundbreaking, which is expected in late 2017.

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0049.

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