3M Volunteers Expand Playscape


                                                                photo; Volunteers mulch the “Sounds Pod”
On Saturday, September 27, staff from 3M in Knoxville and their families donated many hours of “sweat equity” to add new features to Lake Red Rock’s “Playscape,” a natural play area located along the north side of the lake.
The Playscape is designed to spark children’s creativity in using natural features in their play.  The outdoor experiences will hopefully build their love and appreciation of nature, increase their feeling of ownership of their environment, and become future stewards in protecting our natural resources.
                                                                               photo; Volunteers assist willow artists build a willow tepee at the Playscape
Last November, 3M awarded the Red Rock Lake Association a $30,000 EcoGrant to
help expand the Playscape.  The funds have been utilized to pay for building
materials, a stipend for a Playscape Intern to offer programming throughout the
summer months, environmental education materials, and purchase other supplies.
During this process, 3M also volunteered to help with the building effort.
  During the service day, 53 volunteers of all ages
raked, shoveled, mulched, painted, and completed other tasks to create the
newest play elements:  a “Sounds Pod” with sound logs, drum logs and wind
chimes, and a “Community Pod” with balance logs, willow huts, a rock gathering
circle, and wood-carved canoes.  Several 3M staff donated numerous hours leading
up to the event to design the drum and sound logs as well as the balance

“Twigologist” Gary Dannels from Beacon and fellow willow artist Lisa Evans from Oskaloosa directed volunteers in the construction of the willow tepee and “wigwam” huts.  Chainsaw artist Andy Klindt from New Virginia also lent his skills to carve the wood canoes and sculpt a log sculpture located near the Playscape’s entrance.


Volunteers laid landscape fabric and wood mulch over the play areas and along a large segment of the nature trail encircling the Playscape.  Children and their parents even painted stepping stones to create a hopscotch game.
Want to check out the Playscape for yourself?  The area is located along the Volksweg bike trail about a half-mile west of the North Overlook Campground.  Bring the whole family! For more information, contact the Corps of Engineers at (641) 828-7522 or (641) 628-8690.


 photo;Volunteers lay landscape fabric over nature trail before adding mulch                                                               
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