Adding shade without raking leaves

ELC shade 3The children and staff at the Greene County Early Learning Center have a shady playground with the addition of a large canopy this past week. The canopy provides plenty of space for plenty of busy play outdoors in the fresh air, but not under the bright sun.

Total cost of the canopy was $12,865. The Greene County Community Foundation funded a grant of $5,790. Early Learning Center parent fundraisers provided $5,975, Home State Bank and the Jefferson Kiwanis Club both chipped in $500, and Medicap Pharmacy gave $100 toward the project.

The canopy meets an Iowa Department of Human Services licensing requirement, and it provides a valuable benefit to the children and staff. The ELC added a special safe play surface to the playground a few years ago. The surface makes boo-boos less serious when children fall, but it absorbs heat. According to ELC assistant director Sarah Erickson, the play tile will be 30 degrees cooler for being shaded than without shade. Fewer harmful UV rays absorbed by young skin, and fewer tired, cranky children from too much heat. Everyone wins!

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