Back in August, we told you that Lea Elementary School at 47th & Locust was getting a new playground, or rather a newish playground by way of the now-closed Wilson School. At the time, Greening Lea was working to raise $3,000 to cover additional project costs, including insurance and security. That effort didn't take long, as they met their goal in less than a week when the Spruce Hill Community Association pledged $1,000 to the effort, joining several other individuals in the neighborhood.

This morning, a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrated the completion of this project, which also includes a new play surface under the playground that had been here previously. That play surface eliminates 4,400 sqft of impervious surface in the schoolyard. Check out this image to see the old and new playgrounds, together with the new squishy play surface.

Recent view

Of course, this doesn't represent the end of the Greening Lea process. Far from it. A much larger (and costlier) effort is on the books for after this school year. When that's finished, the Lea schoolyard should look something like this:

Rendering of the future

In addition to efforts to improve the schoolyard, Lea is also applying for the District's School Redesign Initiative. This could lead to the school receiving a small grant to make specific and tailored changes to the academic program at Lea. So there's a chance the programming could soon be upgraded, to go along with upgraded outdoor facilities. Certainly something to keep an eye on.

In the meantime, if you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation to Greening Lea, big or small, click here.