Three Duluth Elementary Schools Showcase New Nature Playscapes

Students will use the Nature Playscapes Throughout the Academic Year

DULUTH, Minn. – The preschool program at Duluth Public Schools is celebrating a big outdoor milestone.

Three new nature playscapes are being unveiled to students under the age of five this week.

The campuses receiving the new spaces include Myers Wilkins, Piedmont, and Laura MacArthur Elementary Schools.

For the Duluth Public Schools early childhood coordinator, this opportunity is about providing equity to all students regardless of their income or location throughout the city.

“Over 300 studies have indicated that there are physical and mental health benefits to spending time in nature,” said Sherry Williams, early childhood coordinator with Duluth Public Schools. “The play in the nature playscape tends to be a little more creative and collaborative versus the play that happens on a traditional playground.”

The playscapes will be used year-round.

Right now, students are spending the next few weeks building stamina during their time outdoors so they’re prepared for those bitter cold temps that come early next year.

“We still work on our problem-solving skills, we work on literacy, language, communication, but we’re able to do it outside which is very important,” said Emily Bloomquist, a preschool teacher with Duluth Public Schools.

Grant dollars helped to build the three new playscapes, and also covered outdoor gear for students such as rain suits, rain boots, mittens, and fleece neck gaiters.

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