New Day Children’s Center
September 11, 2001
This project will always have a special place in my heart. I was visiting New Day Children’s Center for the first time the morning of September 11th, 2001. As we sat hudled around the radio in the administrative office listening to the day’s events unfolding there was confusion, phone calls, questions, and parents hurrying to pick up their children, nobody knowing what to expect. The folks at New Day handled the situation with cool heads, compassion and grace and for my part we decided to keep going with my initial design visit. Talking about community, children’s environments, and connections to the planet seemed not only a good distraction but a beautiful response to the frightening events of the day. There is no better response than love…
Community Build Details
Two and a half years of fundraising and New Day was ready to build in May 2004. Five days and over a hundred volunteers later (plus a down pour or two) and we were done! Besides a roofed hideout built on top of a new hill complete with benches, a built-in slide, talktube and secret escape openings, we also built an up-down tunnel structure, new tricycle tracks with rubber safety surfacing on top, a bridge, huge sand area with water trickles, an “outdoor classroom” with tables and storage, secret paths, sensory gardens, trellises and “friendship decks” that bring children in the two separate play areas together for fun visiting.