Mountainview Centre for Innovative Learning

 
 
Mountainview Centre for Innovative Learning

Mountainview Centre for Innovative Learning

St. Catharines, Ontario

Overview:

The Mountainview Centre for Innovative Learning marked Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds’ second project with Pathstone Mental Health facilities and followed up on the success of our 2019 design and install at Pathstone’s Branscombe Centre in St. Catharines. Pathstone Mental Health was hoping to convert their naturalized, water-logged back lot into an accessible, refined organic development experience for children with areas designated for gross motor play, quiet contemplative play, creative play, fine motor development and an outdoor classroom. This school supports the needs of students in Grades 1 through 8 who are presenting a lagging skill emotionally, socially and or educationally.

Project Background, Public Input and Goals:
With child development and rehabilitation at the heart of our design goal, our team focused on the ability for educators to isolate their development needs with 5 unique, interconnected “stations” as one weaves through the meandering natural playground. There is a giraffe swing mulch area where children can swing alone, or in groups, and engage their vestibular senses. A dual log climbing structure where children can climb and approach a graduated risk with both gross and fine motor skills being tested.

A quiet contemplative zone with hand-carved log seating, log benches and a reflection pool. An outdoor classroom, complete with our multi-colour shade-sail setup to mitigate the elements. Finally, one of our personal favorites; the pond, complete with viewing deck and community seating. Our playground design and install team leveraged what was originally a waterlogged, clay-based naturalized area and by enhancing drainage towards a centralized catchment area, were not only able to improve flooding and standing water issues significantly, but created an ecological discovery zone for children, complete with frogs, fish and flora!

Location:
St. Catharines, Ontario

Mountainview Centre for Innovative Learning