St. Mary of the Assumption is a Catholic elementary school located in Prince George’s County, Maryland. This school year they are welcoming back their students with a new playground and outdoor classroom. The school’s project team selected a modern play structure with a lot of play value that can accommodate a significant number of students at once. This new playground will provide a safe and fun space for students to get moving and play, which is essential for their physical and mental development. 

During the pandemic, the school had been given several picnic tables so they could conduct outdoor lessons and activities. It was a popular space, but it quickly became clear that it was too small. In addition to increasing the capacity, the project team wanted to create a more tranquil space for teachers and students to be creative and connect with nature. They chose to utilize a space next to the woods that would accommodate a large ShadePlay® Max Hip Shade, 8 NOVO® picnic tables, and 2 NOVO® trash receptacles. This new outdoor classroom will be perfect for instruction, outdoor lunches and snacks, story time, staff meetings, or any other activity that can benefit from access to the outdoors.

Tamera Campbell, the school's Executive Assistant, said that the finished playground “exceeded their expectations and Brian [Wallace] made a special effort to ensure that the playground design flowed and contributed to the creation of our outdoor learning environment.” Ms. Campbell described how the entire school had been involved in the design process: “He would create a design based on our needs and send it back to us for feedback. We involved our students in reviewing the drawings and compiled their feedback. Brian would then send us a modified design that matched their suggestions.  After this process of drafting and feedback, [we] came up with the perfect design to best fit the needs of our learning community.” Ms. Campbell said that the students felt a sense of ownership over the project, which increased their excitement for the finished playground.