Presss Releaase FOR IMM MEDIATE RELLEASE Contact: Justin Park Commun nity Engagem ment & Communicationss Coordinatoor Colorado o Center for Community Development Universitty of Colorad do Denver | College of A Architecture & Planning Mailing A Address: CAP P, Campus B Box 126, PO B Box 173364,, Denver, Co olorado 8021 17‐3364 Physical A Address: 1512 Larimer SStreet, Suite 750 Phone: 3 303‐315‐5866 | Fax: 303‐315‐5872 justin.park@ucdenve er.edu DPS Playgro ound Face Lift Brings Co ommunity To ogether Decembe er 8, 2010 – Denver, CO – Learning LLandscapes, is innovativve program tto help improve playgrounds and schoolyards in Denver Publlic Elementaary Schools w with the help p from Univeersity of Coloraado Denver ((UCD) graduate studentss. Denver Eleementary Scchools are home to the nation’s vvery first disstrict‐wide re eformation p project. Learrning Landsccapes is a paart of the Westwoo od Initiative,, a project to o improve he ealth across generationss and culturees within thee community. This pro ogram has no ot only helpe ed playgrounnds becomee more enjoyyable and safer for the ch hildren, but also brough ht the Denver communitty together. TThese schoo ols have gone through much neede ed restoratio ons in their p play yards thhat has not o only helped tthe children n etter place tto play durin ng recess, bu ut has also enncouraged leearning in th he process. TThe have a be community has had m major involvvement in th his project brring the Wesstwood com mmunity closser together. ounds are un nlike any othher. They incclude new and modern The Learning Landscaapes playgro ote learning while at play. They incluude learningg essentials ssuch as map ps elementss that promo and compasses paintted on the p pavement. Th hese are incoorporated in nto the regu ular playgrou und apparatu us to allow fo or creativene ess and learning for the children. Th here are also o areas that they call natural areas, these include native grasses and herbbs. The childrren are allow wed to play w with and pick the plants, w while collectting bugs. Te eachers are aable to bringg that classroom outsidee for a new leaarning environment. Gardens were also introduuced into thee playground ds, teaching children and their paarents health hy eating and living stylees.
While the UCD students’ role in the programs was to help design these playgrounds, they were not the only outsiders with a say. The community was invited to be a part of the process. They were asked to create a vision of the playgrounds. Each school community was also responsible for raising 1 to 2 percent of the construction costs needed to build the learning landscapes. This helped create a very strong sense of community within the neighborhoods. When finished, these playgrounds were also open to the public after school hours. The playgrounds have become a popular site for teens and families to hang out. The program plans to have all Denver Public Elementary School’s playgrounds completed by 2012. They also plan to finish earlier than expected and under budget. Any extra money from the funding they received will go to other areas of need in these schools, such as for classroom technology and school computers. For further information please contact Justin Park. The Colorado Center for Community Development (CCCD) is a community service center for the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver. The Center seeks to improve the quality of community life by addressing a broad range of contemporary community problems using community development approaches. The Colorado Center works in communities large and small, rural and urban, in towns that never thought they needed outside assistance, and in neighborhoods historically underserved.