Youth Leadership in Creating Inclusive Community Spaces through Outdoor Play
Through a partnership with Andrew Fleck Children’s Services and Ottawa Community Housing, the Child & Nature Alliance of Canada was thrilled to be involved in delivering our “Play in Parks” initiative this past summer, 2019. In this blog post we’d love to share a little more about the program and introduce you to some of our amazing youth “playworkers” who led the project this summer!
What is Play in Parks?
The Play in Parks Initiative, first piloted in 2018, was implemented to break down barriers for young people to obtain meaningful employment and leadership skills, while also increasing free, unstructured, active play opportunities for children aged 3 to 12 years old in 5 Ottawa Community Housing communities. The project employed and mentored 9 youth (between ages 17 to 30) from OCH communities as playworkers who set up a ‘pop-up natural play space’ 4 days per week for 7 weeks in the summer of 2019.
Meet the Playworkers:
We think the program is best explained through the young people themselves. To capture their experiences, the playworkers gave us tours of three of the program sites and shared stories of where and how the children played over the course of the summer. The following film was entirely directed and filmed by them. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!