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New Prep playground to inspire adventure

There’s a new trend in children’s playgrounds, and UCC’s Prep School is leading the way.

Consider a slide. It’s got one use; you go down it. And it’s exactly that narrow functionality that the new Prep Learning Grounds, to be completed next December, aims to change.

The project is managed by Evergreen, which has earned accolades for its Brick Works project in Toronto. It’s one of the best known new “adventure-style playgrounds,” with its signature natural features, wood and spaces that encourage creative exploration.

Evergreen has worked in six provinces to transform more than 3,500 playgrounds. The lead donors on the project are: Ricky and Peter Cohen, grandparents of Logan Charles Simmons ’26; Joel and Melissa Feldberg, parents of Jay ’24; and Conney and Gregory Romund, parents of Alexander ’19 and Andrew ’26.

“One aim of building our new playground is to support independent learning and exploring,” says Primary Division head Tom Babits.

That’s because, unlike a slide or swing, all the new equipment can be used in different ways. For example, there will be climbing trees sourced from Norval and a teepee — play things with no prescribed function.

“We hope that boys will use the Learning Grounds in many different ways, ways we didn’t imagine,” says Babits. “It’s in keeping with the IB Learner Profile, which encourages students to take risks and explore new ideas and ways of thinking about things.”

Boys can challenge themselves by going higher on a new climbing structure or staying put and contemplating leaves.

“As adults well know, some days we are up for a challenge to a greater or lesser extent than on other days,” says Babits.

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