Caliche Elementary received a $7,000 School Play Yard Initiative grant from Great Outdoors Colorado to help the school upgrade their old and outdated playground. The Caliche K-12 School was built to serve rural communities near Iliff, Colorado, and the site also serves as a community’s park site during off hours. Design Concepts is working with the staff and students to provide a Master Plan that will help the school’s application for a $100,000 construction grant to build the playground. Highlights of the Master Plan includes new playground equipment with accessible surfacing, gardens, new early childhood area fencing with windscreen, safer court play areas, and a group shade shelter with picnic tables to be used for class activities, socializing and afterschool activities. Farther from the school building a nature trail with mileage markers which incorporate information about local plants and animals, enhanced native planting areas, future synthetic turf field due to limited water availability are included in the master plan.
The school is also holding multiple fundraisers, as they will need to match a portion of the grant. The next fundraiser is “A Night at the Races”, to be held March 26 at the Elks Lodge in Sterling, Colorado.
Much of the school’s current equipment has been in place since the school was built in the 1980s, and doesn’t meet current safety standards. GOCO’s program is a great opportunity for small communities to upgrade their facilities, provide a connection between students and their environment, and create invaluable outdoor learning spaces.