GW Elementary School Natural Playscape Committee Hosts First Volunteer Work Day October 18th.


The George Washington School Natural Playscape will have its first volunteer work day on Saturday, Oct. 18 from  10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain date, Sunday, October 19. Postponement to Sunday will be announced on the GW NATURAL PLAYSCAPE WEBPAGE.

We will plant bushes and small trees along the fence at the playground, and if the weather permits, will put a new coat of paint on the existing play structures. Please bring shovels and wheelbarrows if you got ’em! We’ll keep you fed and watered throughout the day. We of course welcome children, but we hope they will be there to help with planting and mulching – they will not be allowed to actually play on the playground while we are working. Please stop by for a few minutes or a few hours as your schedule allows. If you can’t help this time, we will be planning several work days next Spring.

This work day is the first step in our efforts to transform GW’s playground into a more natural, park-like play space for the kids. The Natural Playscape involves improvements using natural materials, e.g. boulders, logs, and living plants, to create green spaces that expand and enhance the school’s usable outdoor recreation area. The students and teachers helped create the design that will eventually introduce seating, climbing and crawling elements, and slide hill, a tree fort and student murals and sculptures. The existing playground equipment will be repaired and receive a fresh coat of colorful paint. Landscaping will include care of the existing trees, and new plants and bushes around the perimeter of the sites to add contour, and screen the adjacent street and parking lots.

The project will provide children with outdoor play and learning areas that challenge and engage them, and help us re-vision the entire school yard as a more natural site where native materials like wood, stone, and foliage replace the built environment of blacktop, steel and chain link. A Natural Playscape allows for the same sort of vigorous physical play as more traditional playgrounds, but also stimulates other senses (vision, touch, sound, smell) and encourages safe, creative play.

The GW Natural Playscape Committee thanks Dr. Padalino, Tom Clapper and the Kingston City School District crew, Kingston Department of Public Works, Kingston Parks & Rec, the GW PTO, GW Principal Valerie Hannum, and the students, teachers and parents of the GW community.

Please forward this email to anyone in the GW community who you think may be interested in our project. You may contact me or Kelly,,  with questions or suggestions.