Encana provides new water features for CDC Outdoor Classroom
by Childrenís Discovery Center and Encana Oil & Gas joint release
December 12, 2012
Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. granted the Pinedale Childrenís Discovery Center (CDC) $1,500 to include new water features to the Outdoor Classroom. The CDC built the Outdoor Classroom to create a safe and natural space for children to play and learn.
"Our new water features will give children the opportunity to experiment, investigate and observe waterís properties in a safe, open-ended environment," said Caitlin Hakiel. "Math, science and logical skills are honed as children work together or independently, to build pathways, gather volumes of water and study cause-and-effect scenarios."
Encana USAís grant will be used to purchase two water features for the Outdoor Classroom, Water Play and a Bubbling Boulder. Water Play will incorporate a hand pump with a sluice, which helps children develop motor skills and science/engineering skills as they learn about water properties and how to manipulate water. This water will also be recaptured and used for gardening plots around the outdoor classrooms.
The second water feature, a Bubbling Boulder, will be placed near the sand box and dirt digging areas in order to provide children with another medium they can use to create and explore. "Mud pies and sandcastles are great ways to learn about water and expand imaginations," said Hakiel. "We are excited for these new water features to be installed next spring."
"This Outdoor Classroom provides an opportunity to reconnect children with nature and get them excited about learning about the environment," said Randy Teeuwen, Encana USA community relations advisor. "There are many benefits to spending time playing outdoors, itís a natural exercise that stimulates creative power, problem-solving and a passion for our natural resources."
Designed and engineered by Nature Explorers, a division of the Arbor Day Foundation, the Outdoor Classroom includes 12 different "classroom" areas for children to enjoy and explore, including an art room, Native American Village complete with a full size tee-pee, sand and dirt digging area, nature art space, and tree house.
The Outdoor Classroom was also designed with senior citizens in mind. The CDC has a special relationship with the Senior Center, and the Outdoor Classroom is safe and accessible for seniors who may want to participate in outdoor activities with the children.
"We are very proud of the learning through play opportunities that are available at our Center. By providing a complete mix of activities, children with a variety of needs and learning styles are engaged," said Hakiel. "I would like to recognize and thank Encana for their continued support to our program. Our water area would not have been possible without their help."