BUILDING A COMMUNITY SPACE FOR US ALL
This is a collaborative environmental education and community development endeavor to transform our school’s playground and the adjacent Nason’s Corner Park into a natural, multipurpose play and learning area that will benefit not only Breakwater School and Enrichment Center, but the entire Portland community. The partnership includes Breakwater School, the City of Portland, the Nason's Corner Neighborhood Association, and the Portland Trails School Ground Greening Coalition.
We are nearing completion of Phases 1 and 2 of the project, which include extended playgrounds with running hills, wild nature zones, slides, climbing walls, tunnels, open field space, and designated developmentally appropriate areas for our youngest students. Parent and community volunteers have helped us plant trees, shrubs and natural flowers, and every planting season we add more.
To Facilitate Outside Play: Children need access to nature the same way they need good nutrition and adequate sleep. It is fundamental to their growth and wellbeing. Research demonstrates that daily outdoor experiences are critically important for developing mental and physical health, resilience, independence, courage, and an understanding of the interrelatedness of humans with the world around them.
To Developing an Exceptional Natural Community Resource: Central to Breakwater’s Mission is to foster in children the idea of what it means to be a productive contributor to the world at large. This project includes development of both outdoor space owned by Breakwater as well as Nason’s Corner Park, which is a public park owned by the City of Portland. The spaces are utilized by Breakwater during school hours and available to the entire community outside at all other times, contributing to a vital community connection to Portland.
To Foster Stewardship: Research has demonstrated that children’s positive encounters with nature can lead to the development of an environmental ethic. The extent to which a child understands the connectiveness of all living things has been shown to be strongly correlated with positive environmental attitudes. The playground experiences of Breakwater students have not only the potential to increase their environmental stewardship, but also boost their confidence as champions and caretakers of the natural world.
WAYS YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE PROJECT: