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Green Play in Anoka

 New Natural Playground Space At Zion Lutheran

What a celebration!  Today 300 people, two fire trucks, a police car, songs, hot dog lunches, bounce houses and 10 different kinds of rain garden plants were all part of the dedication of Zion’s Community Greenspace.

A gift from Frank and Janice Jensen as well as grants from Allina and the Anoka Conservation District have made this new community greenspace possible and was a great way to help Zion Lutheran pre-K is celebrate it’s 45th year.

The natural playground designed by Growing Green Hearts will add new space and ways for the preschoolers to experience God’s creation.  The rain garden, rocks, and curriculum tools as planned by Growing Green Hearts will help teachers, from the middle school across the street, meet standards in fun and engaging ways. Even the local YMCA, that does programming in the neighborhood, looks forward to using the raised bed gardens and green space.  It will be fun to watch how these community groups will come together to PLAY, LAUGH, and LOVE!

Here are a few stories from the day:  Pastor Peter watched a little boy enter the greenspace and ask his Dad, “Now what?” and Dad replied, “Go Play.”  “Where?” the boy asked.  The father explained that he could choose where to go and what to do in the natural playground.  (Research points to ground-based natural playgrounds encouraging exploration and creativity in a safe way.)  The boy said, “I want to follow that fence all the way around!” and off he went through the tall grasses, over the hill, through the wooded area, past the raised gardens, past the rain garden all the while following his own path.

After the main event I was cleaning up the rain garden planting and a vehicle stopped to ask this question, “What is this place?  Like a garden I can rent or something?”.  And I responded, “Actually, you don’t need to rent it you can just sign up to plant and take care of it- just visit the church to sign up.”  To which she responded, “Cool!”

Play. Learn. Love.

May 21st,  2014