Funded by: Fred/k E Russel Fund and the Howard Martin Memorial Fund.
Grant Program: Community Grants 2022
The Gleneagles Ch’axáý Outdoor Community Hub’s goal is to improve and enhance the school grounds at Gleneagles Ch’axáý Elementary, and encourage and promote the space for use by the broader community. The project included increasing the diversity of natural features, adding new accessible play structures and creating a landscape that nurtures children’s development and provides them with a healthy place to play and learn. Outdoor gathering spaces were created for large groups, smaller more intimate gatherings and individual use. The community gardens were improved and overall accessibility and diversity of the space was increased so it benefits people of all ages and stages in life.
At least 500 community members use the school grounds on a regular basis including Gleneagles Ch’axáý students, Jumpstart preschool, the YWCA afterschool care program and local residents. They have also seen an increase in use of the grounds on weekends when younger families are using the playground and field or teens/adults are drawn to the basketball court. They anticipate this increase in use on the weekends to continue when they complete the resurfacing of the basketball court.
“The upgrades to our playground and outdoor spaces has created a community “hub” that is being used not only by the students at our school but by the larger Gleneagles/Horseshoe Bay/Whytecliff community. On the weekends, the entire community benefits as the new improvements offer a place for families to explore and play, older kids, teens and young adults to meet for a game of basketball or to hang out. The space has also created a stronger sense of community within our school and for our neighbourhood as more families gather at the school grounds on the weekend. Each project/milestone was celebrated by our students and created a huge amount of excitement and connection within our school, creating a landscape that nurtures children’s development and provides them with a healthy place to play and learn. Outdoor gathering spaces were created for large groups, smaller more intimate gatherings and individual use. The community gardens were improved and overall accessibility and diversity of the space was increased so it benefits people of all ages and stages in life.”
“Gleneagles Ch’axáý Elementary school is located on the land of the Squamish Nation and we want to ensure that we respect and honor the heritage and history of the First People. We will have signage with the Squamish names of the native plants that are planted in our garden beds.
In the summer of 2021 a rainbow crosswalk was painted at the school’s main entrance. We want to ensure that members of the LGBTQ+ community feel welcome and supported on the school grounds and in our community. Our lending library will include LGBTQ+ and First People books.
The gaga ball pit that was installed in the fall of 2021 was chosen due to its safe and inclusive nature. The Oodle swing that we will install was also chosen because it is inclusive in nature and seats multiple kids at a time.
The gathering pods and circles will also be spaces where classes can hold their restorative justice meetings.”