Ecole Pauline Johnson Elementary School Outdoor Learning Playground

Location: West Vancouver
Partners: Ecole Pauline Johnson Elementary School
Sponsors: Whole Foods West Vancouver, West Vancouver Community Foundation, Atelier Anonymous, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Enns Gauthier Landscape Architects, Chapman Survey, British Pacific Properties, PJ Kids Club, PJ PAC, West Vancouver School District 45, King Kubota Services, TD Friends of the Environment, Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds, the Mulgrave School Community, Lehigh Materials, and Caffe Al Mercato.
Completion: October, 2017

A long-awaited Outdoor Learning and Community Park has blossomed on the school grounds of Ecole Pauline Johnson Elementary. A dedicated group of parents and educators – the PJ Community Park Committee – together with PIPS and a long list of project partners drew on the ideas of the EPJ families and children to create a multi-use outdoor environment with a flagship design for educational innovation.

After four years of planning, collaboration, and raising funds, volunteers came together to help turn these dreams and designs into reality on the weekend of September 23rd, 2016. Volunteers included local community members, parents, educators and members of participating organizations. Although at times the weather made for less than ideal working conditions, spirits and productivity remained high. Hard work and determination resulted in the completion of many projects, some of which we’ve recapped below:

· To help improve slope stability and enhance species diversity Devils Club, Ferns and numerous native tree species were planted along and within the parks perimeter.
· Among other features, a healing circle, water sluice, and outdoor classroom were designed and constructed to service the environment and improve outdoor learning efforts.
· Two wetlands were constructed to help promote ecosystem growth and interactive learning opportunities.
· Landscaping efforts were supported and sustained as trees were trimmed, flowers were planted and gardens were tended to.

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"“It is incredibly satisfying to see a project that has been researched, pursued, shaped and lobbied for over four years finally become a reality… and turn out so beautifully! Truly a product of partnerships and team-work, this park has been built because of people like you.

We celebrate objectives behind The PJ Outdoor Learning & Community Park – part wetland, part play park, part learning grounds, it’s meant for interconnection. It is an exercise of re-imagining & re-designing land-conservation to embrace natural habitat, education, and honoring our sense of community & our First Nations. It is meant to maximize benefits to the whole community.”"

Kyra Smiljanic, Co-Chair - PJ Outdoor Learning and Community Park