Restoration of Burke Brook as part of an “Outdoor Learning Playscape”
Earthartist Planning and Design led a multidisciplinary team to restore Burke Brooke and develop a Natural Outdoor Learning Playscape on the schoolyard of Havergal College Junior School in Toronto.
The scope of work included:
- The excavation and removal of 30 meters of culvert and rehabilitation of the natural riparian environment
- Stabilize and naturalize the existing open grass playground to top of bank in order to introduce natural infiltration catchment areas and direct student activities to areas less susceptible to erosion.
- The rehabilitation and restoration of the storage area located adjacent to Burke Brooke including the removal of existing storage sheds, fences, equipment and landscape materials and the establishment of an open-air shelter for outdoor education.
- Construct a 1.8m wide permeable path connecting existing trails entering the site
- Re-establish the North-South pedestrian connection over the existing culvert with a 12m long 2m wide pedestrian bridge across Burke Brooke at the bottom of the schoolyard.
This educational facility is used to integrate the natural environment into curriculum and blur the lines between play and learning
- Key Challenge: Creating an outdoor classroom with minimal disruption to the sensitive ecosystem of the river valley ecosystem.
- Best Feature: The stone walls are beautifully set into the natural topography and the classroom has excellent access forest and river system.