The Forest Lawn Library Nature Playground

Developing foundational skills through play

Calgary Public Library’s first outdoor Early Learning Centre is now open at Forest Lawn Library. It's a free and safe place for kids to learn, imagine, and explore. The Forest Lawn Library Nature Playground helps Calgary’s kids — including the 16,000 kids in the Forest Lawn community — learn and develop foundational skills through play. This initiative was made possible with the support of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program and Friends of the Library.

Early Learning Centres at Calgary Public Library are vibrant and interactive spaces for children age zero to five to engage in play-based learning. 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, to support creative play and exploration.

Early learning and outdoor learning research guided the design of the Forest Lawn Library Nature Playground. A variety of recycled materials were used in the playground’s construction, 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 Fish Creek, Village Square, Central, Quarry Park, and Shawnessy Libraries. The Forest Lawn Library Nature Playground is the first outdoor early learning space.[