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New Nature Playground Fosters Early Learning for Calgary’s Kids

Calgary, AB — Calgary Public Library unveiled its first outdoor Early Learning Centre today at Forest Lawn Library. The Forest Lawn Library Nature Playground will help Calgary’s kids learn and develop foundational skills through play and was made possible with the support of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program and Friends of the Library.

“The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program represents a sense of unity for Canadians,” said the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veteran Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence. “The Forest Lawn Library Nature Playground will bring community members together through a shared interest in learning more about our environment and the outdoors.”

The Forest Lawn Library Nature Playground is a fully accessible space featuring large-scale letters for children to play in, under, and around, surfaces for writing and drawing, and moveable elements that children can interact with. Raised berms provide a sensory and spatial feature, which will support creative play and exploration.

“We know that learning happens everywhere, especially for children,” says Bill Ptacek, Calgary Public Library CEO. “This new destination will provide 16,000 neighbourhood kids—and even more across the city—with a free and safe place to learn, imagine, and explore their environment.”

Early learning and outdoor learning research guided the design of the Forest Lawn Library Nature Playground, which was constructed using a variety of recycled materials, including steel for the fencing and benches, recovered wood for safety surfacing and tree stump seating that would have otherwise become firewood.

Since 2016, Calgary Public Library has opened Early Learning Centres at five libraries. The Forest Lawn Library Nature Playground is its first outdoor Early Learning space. For more information on how you can support early learning and the creation of spaces like the Forest Lawn Library Nature Playground, visit www.libraryfriends.ca.

Calgary Public Library

Calgary Public Library, with 600,000+ members, has been inspiring the life stories of Calgarians for more than 100 years. It is currently the second largest library system in Canada and the sixth largest municipal library system in North America, with Calgarians borrowing more than 15.8 million physical and digital items and with 6.7 million in-person visits last year. Preparations are underway for the awe-inspiring 240,000 sq. ft. New Central Library, to open in late 2018.

Calgary Public Library Foundation

Add In—the Campaign for Calgary’s Library, is the largest public campaign for a public library in Canadian history. The $350 million campaign will enhance and support a system of community libraries across Calgary and is inspired by the New Central Library, which will open its doors to the world in 2018. To learn more about Add In and the Calgary Public Library’s vision to create the best public library in the world for Calgarians, visit addin.ca.

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Media Contacts:
Rachael Terner
Manager of Communications
Calgary Public Library Foundation
C: 403.680.0626
rachael@addin.ca

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