GUS Receives Generous Gift to Build Naturescape Play Space

Thanks to a very generous gift from a GUS family, the school will now be able to fully realize the vision and plan to create a “naturescape” play space, outside the lower school classrooms, to serve the clever imaginations and spirited play of our youngest students in Pre- K, kindergarten, and grade 1. Designed as inviting outdoor play areas, naturescapes feature natural elements and diverse opportunities to connect with nature. This wonderful gift supports the Glen Urquhart School mission of excelling at child-centered, developmentally appropriate, experiential learning.

Working with Amy Liedtke, an experienced pediatric playscape designer, educator, and artist, who received both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Rhode Island School of Design, GUS faculty will engage in creating the most thoughtful and engaging space possible for students.

The design of the GUS lower school naturescape play area will include conservation of existing trees, as well as the addition of native trees, plants, flowers, grasses, and stones. Sculptural elements, made from these materials, will prompt imaginative and dramatic play, gross motor movement, social interaction, and scientific inquiry, as well as offer a variety of sensorial experiences.  This new nature-based playground will be created this summer and be located outside of the preschool and kindergarten indoor classrooms (the fenced area adjacent to the lower school driveway entrance).

The GUS community and Building and Grounds committee is especially grateful to Amy for her many talents, as well as the good fortune to partner with her for the ultimate benefit of the students. Special thanks to Alen Yen P’22, and Board of Trustees member, for introducing the planning team to his friend and mentor, Amy. Finally, thank you for the generous leadership gift from a family who believes in the magic of GUS and the gift of childhood.  

Martha Delay