The students of Desert Sky Montessori School in Bend are thrilled with a new playground structure built for them by volunteers.
The response to the new structure is so positive that the volunteers want to build more playgrounds for other schools – and they’re looking for suggestions.
“I like jumping right over there from log to log,” said Donavan Weaver, a 5th grader at Desert Sky Montessori.
“Me and my friends build little villages,” said 4th-grader Benjamin Norwood. “We also set up little courses and I time my friends running across this course and its really fun.”
“They love it,” said Idelis Thordarson, Desert Sky Montessori Spanish teacher and administrator. “It’s become the focal point of our outside area. They spend most of their time here. Our other areas have been abandoned since this arrived.”
A parent spearheaded creation of an outdoor play space. She asked Boe Brodhun of Urban Forest Tree Service if he could supply logs.
It ignited the idea that his company wanted to be part of.
Brodhun and his crew of arborists brought three loads of logs and went to work with chainsaws to create elevated balance beams, a teeter-totter and a series of log rounds for children to jump on and off.
“A lot of them refer to it as our Ninja course,” Thordarson said. “They like to jump off and climb. There’s a lot of things they get to be adventurous with. I think that’s what they like about it the most. It encourages them to move around and use their bodies in new and interesting ways.”
Eva Cruz, a 6th-grader said her favorite thing about the playground is the see-saw. “My friends like to run across it and it goes from side to side. It’s really fun.”
“Moving forward, we would love to have people involved with better skills, whether they do log homes or construction in general, we’d love to have people team up and help us build better structures,” Brodhun said.
Urban Forest Tree Service is accepting recommendations via email (email@example.com) for another school deserving of a play structure.
The company will hold a drawing for the next school to receive a playground on January 1st.
They plan to build it during spring break.
If the student-led presentation of thanks to the volunteer builders of the first playground is any indication, the next group of school children will be just as appreciative.
“They were so excited they wanted to reach out on their own to thank whoever it was, they didn’t know who brought this to their playground,” Thodarson said. “They made the sign and they wanted to make sure that they could show their gratitude.”
“Schools that are underfunded, that’s what we want to target and give back to,” Brodhun said.
“Anything that gets kids off digital devices and gets them out and playing is what we are all about.”