The current generation of young people in the North America spends less time outside than any generation in history, and this growing disconnect between people and nature is leading to a wide range of social, public health and environmental issues. As we look to a future in which more than 90% of North Americans will be living in urban areas by the year 2050, engaging outdoor learning environments provide an increasingly essential point of connection for young people to interact with nature. In the effort to create the sustainable and nature-rich cities of the future, there is also a great need to inspire the current generation of young people to play an active role in designing, building and maintaining great outdoor spaces in our urban and suburban environments through careers in landscape and horticulture professions.
The Come Alive Outside Design Challenge creates the opportunity for teams of post-secondary and secondary students to work together with landscape professionals to design and build engaging outdoor learning environments at schools and childcare facilities.
Wentworth Landscapes will host the 2019 Design Challenge, in partnership with Come Alive Outside, Gelderman Landscape, Brydges Landscape Architecture and Landscape Ontario, bringing top postsecondary Landscape Architecture, Landscape Design and Horticulture students to Kingston, Ontario for a three-day design charrette. On October 24th-26th, students from Algonquin College, Guelph University, Seneca College, Niagara College, and Ryerson University, as well as, SHSM and Green Industry high school students will participate in a design charrette with elementary students and teachers to create initial concepts for a natural schoolyard at Archbishop O'Sullivan Catholic School.
Come Alive Outside is a non-profit organization based in the United States that works closely with partners in healthcare, public health, outdoor recreation and the landscape profession in order to get people off the couch and back outside in communities across North America! Since 2013, Come Alive Outside has produced our Design Challenge program in 18 communities with over 800 students across the United States and Canada.
On Friday, October 25, the team met with students from Archbishop O'Sullivan Catholic School to brainstorm ideas about nature and what students liked to do outside. They also had the opportunity to draw out their ideas and design concepts for their outdoor space.
On Saturday, October 26, parents/guardians and community members are invited to the school for a presentation of the initial design concepts from 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Wentworth Landscapes will work with Archbishop O'Sullivan Catholic School to initiate construction of the space during the spring and summer of 2020.