A “passion project” to upgrade the Wānaka Pre-school playground, led by teacher Melanie ChurchillI, who passed away in April last year, is almost complete as the final piece of the project comes together.
Stephen Hedley contractors, friends of Churchill, are bringing together her vision for Wānaka Pre-school's playscape by developing a riverbed with an elevated pump.
Lead teacher Katrina Brewer told the Wānaka Sun that the project would enable the children to “sustainably source water and experience the magic of water flowing down under a bridge and pooling at the bottom.”
“Wānaka Pre-school is working towards green/gold enviroschool status. Installing a pump means the children will have to work to access water, which supports the initiative to ensure water isn't left running while playing in the sandpit,” she said.
“Water is an important part of our local curriculum and having our very own riverbed for children to explore and engage in hands-on learning accentuates this.”
The riverbed was due to be completed on April 1 before the coronavirus lockdown delayed it, but Brewer is excited to see the final stage of the playground upgrade come to fruition. Since plans were made up in 2017, the upgrade has been completed in segments with the help of community grants.
“This riverbed project is a tribute to Mel who is our dearly missed (but never forgotten) teacher who passed away in April last year,” said Brewer. “Thanks to the Wānaka Rotary club and The Lion Foundation who partially funded the project.”