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Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, PNC Expand Outdoor Learning and Environmental Benefits at PPS' Chartiers Early Childhood Center

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, PNC Expand Outdoor Learning and Environmental Benefits at PPS' Chartiers Early Childhood Center

 

Pittsburgh Public Schools, PNC Foundation and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) have partnered to transform an 18,000-square-foot asphalt parking lot into a safe, green space for children to play and learn at Pittsburgh Chartiers Early Childhood Center in the City of Pittsburgh’s Windgap and Chartiers neighborhoods. 

 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to officially mark the completion of the project and open the new space to students and teachers. The space, created by WPC and funded by PNC Grow Up Great, will allow children to play and interact with the natural surroundings and installed structures instead of playing on a hard, blacktop parking lot. WPC staff and outside contractors built the new space with input from the school teachers and administrators.

 

The new space includes 19 trees, 14 shrubs, 60 perennials – and many other features – to encourage motor skill development, nurture creativity and stimulate curiosity. In addition to the pollinator-friendly perennials and native trees, the outdoor space features ADA-accessible pathways, picnic tables, benches and 122 stepping stones. Other sensory elements include two birdhouses, flower-shaped chalkboards and a nature table, maze, play hill, shed, and fruit-stand play store.

 

The new space will allow Pittsburgh Chartiers Early Childhood Center students the opportunity to participate in dramatic and imaginative interactive play using the natural vegetation and creative installations. The center has seven classrooms and a total of 140 students.