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Breaking Ground – A Centre of Excellence in Outdoor Play

Construction of a new, multi-purpose iconic building on National Capital Commission (NCC) property is about to begin. Fences are being put up, a biologist will be onsite Monday, and the removal of trees (as few as possible) will start Tuesday. Trees destined to be cut will be turned into lumber for future use inside the building; as furniture, pieces of art, perhaps a coaster or two, and anything else the creative team leading this project comes up with.

This building, a labour of love led by Andrew Fleck Child Services, in partnership with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the CHEO Research Institute, the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada, and Outdoor Play Canada, is envisioned to be the home of the Canadian Centre for Outdoor Play (CCOP), a centre of excellence in outdoor play and early childhood education.

This collaborative space aims to launch demonstration projects, inform policy and practice, provide professional development opportunities, conduct applied research, and lead nationwide knowledge translation and mobilization efforts related to outdoor play. It will also provide a licensed forest and nature-based program for 49 infants, toddlers and preschoolers, to foster learning, creativity, connection to the land, and environmental stewardship among our youngest citizens.

To learn more about this very exciting project, email us: