Jeffco library to build outdoor adventure space

Donors provide seed funding for Standley Lake learning environment

Staff report
Posted 9/18/18

A new outdoor adventure space at Standley Lake Library will provide tools and opportunities for children to engage in unstructured, outdoor play. The Discover Together: Outdoor Adventure Space breaks …

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Jeffco library to build outdoor adventure space

Donors provide seed funding for Standley Lake learning environment

Posted

A new outdoor adventure space at Standley Lake Library will provide tools and opportunities for children to engage in unstructured, outdoor play.

The Discover Together: Outdoor Adventure Space breaks ground at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 22 outside the library at 8485 Kipling St., Arvada. All Jeffco residents are welcome and light refreshments will be served.

Designed by Leaning Landscapes, the outdoor space extends the library’s commitment to help children be ready to read when they enter kindergarten and continue to support their learning as they grow, said a news release from the Jefferson County Library Foundation.

“We’re excited to offer this outdoor experience for our patrons,” Barbara Yeutter Roig, kids and families’ manager at JCPL, said in the news release. “We know that unstructured play helps children develop skills in gross and fine motor skills, creativity and socialization. Offering these activities in the out-of-doors also encourages exercise and contributes to emotional and physical health.”

The space is outside the children’s area on the east side of the library. It will include two separate play areas, with physical features including sensory and habitat gardens, benches and fairy stumps, the release said.

Tools to spark imaginative play and learning will include a willow dome, playthings and an insect hotel. Most of the construction will be completed this fall, with additional elements added next spring. A formal grand opening will take place in early summer 2019.

“Thanks to some very generous donors, we’re able to help the library provide an outdoor learning environment at the Standley Lake Library,” Jo Schantz, foundation executive director, said in a news release.

Allison Brigham contacted the library district in 2016 on behalf of her father, Arvada resident Warren Roeske, who was seeking a way to honor his deceased wife, Shirley M. Roeske, an ardent library advocate, Schantz said.

The library district suggested the outdoor adventure space and over the past two years, Warren and his daughter have donated $15,000 to seed the effort, Schantz said. A second anonymous donor contributed $35,000, providing the money to begin construction on the project.

“We’re deeply grateful to the donors who helped us make this dream a reality,” said Donna Walker, the library district’s executive director.

“We believe our patrons will be as excited as we are to discover library services and programming in a natural environment.”

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