Almost a decade of thought has gone into the establishment of this garden and newly renovated playgrounds at the historic Page School/Child Study Center of Wellesley College. We invite you to take a virtual tour.
The CSC playgrounds, last renovated in 1995, had two separate play spaces – one for the Oldest Group (4-5 yr olds) and one for the Youngest and Middle Groups (2-3 and 3-4 yr olds). Most of the equipment was from the Child Life Company in Holliston, MA and consisted of single purpose structures, e.g., a stand-alone swing-set, a climber and a slide. The surfaces were mostly natural, grassy or lightly mulched, contoured on the hill, and interrupted only by a small patch of hard top for wheel toy play. There were over 25 mature trees, mostly conifers and some forsythia and lilac bushes.
Since 1995, the Office of Child Care Services adopted the national safety guidelines for children’s playgrounds. In order for the CSC playgrounds to be compliant with these new regulations, we again needed a completely new revision. In light of this need we decided to make a model and innovative space that could be used as a research and training site for teachers and landscape architects interested in natural spaces for young children’s education. We wanted the space to reflect the values of the Progressive Movement and of current environmentalists and pediatricians that all young children must be afforded the opportunity to interact with nature.
We engaged the services of myriad people, Robin Moore, Patrick Willoughby, John Olmsted, Steve Schiavo, Tracy Gleason, David Pillemer, the staff of the CSC, Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates, Pat Byrne, Tim Ward, Carlo Molinari and his crew, the College’s grounds people, plumbers, custodians, carpenters and electricians, as well as many students, alumnae, parents, colleagues and friends.