Walden Green opens new playground, outdoor classroom

Krystle Wagner • Sep 27, 2018 at 9:00 AM

FERRYSBURG — Children played and families explored The Meadow Playground on Tuesday evening, celebrating Walden Green Montessori School’s newest addition.

The Ferrysburg charter school’s officials and families attended the official ribbon cutting of the new area that provides students the chance to enjoy nature and learn.

Co-interim Director Kim Bremer recognized the school’s former director, Mark Neidlinger, who oversaw the project launch last spring, and former PTO President Nicole DeSchaaf, during the ceremony. Bremer also thanked John and Jennifer Essex and their family for donating the funding to make it possible.

“Your love of this school, your appreciation for beauty and for nature is embodied in this space, and we are so grateful to have it,” Bremer said.

Bremer also noted the landscape was designed by Rudy Vedovell of Lots of Green.

Seeing the change from the old school building to its current location and now adding The Meadow Playground is a “beautiful testimony” to the charter school’s program, said the other co-interim director, Mark Roessing, during Tuesday’s ceremony.

“Nature is fuel for our soul,” Roessing said. “Often when we feel depleted, some of us reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests that a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.”

Roessing said throughout American suburbs and cities people are seeing an increase in a “nature deficient disorder,” and they’re pleased to have the outdoor classroom.

Throughout the year, students in the school’s Capstone program will develop ideas as to how they can especially recognize the Essex family’s donation.

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