With a hop, a skip and a jump, children are off and running with the creative opportunities for learning at neighborhood parks here in St. Johns County. Constructed as a partnership between United Way of St. Johns County, St. Johns County and Wells Fargo, the first two Born Learning Trails were built in St. Augustine at Treaty Park and Solomon Calhoun Park. Before the paint was even dry, children were ready to take off down the path.
Built during just one volunteer day, these two parks offer opportunities for counting, cognitive thinking and recreation. Lorie, one of the helpers’ present, shared that it was a great change of pace from a regular work day. “There was actually bantering back and forth about who was best when it came to the power tools. Some were painting, others doing the concrete. We were all just working on our parts and then boom, the next thing you know, we had a trail! It was great!”
Any caretaker - be it a parent, grandparent, sitter or older sibling - wins by offering an outdoor park-day exploring and following the path outlined by the series of 10 interactive bright signs. Children happily to play through the trail without even realizing that it is both a fun and fundamental activity.
Although Lorie was there to build, she is happy to visit the park and the trails with her two children that were also there to help that day. “These trails are special, not just because my kids and I were here to help,” she says. “But because, I can see how they really make a difference. We need these in all our parks!”
United Way-SJC invites residents and businesses to join us in playing for a purpose with the construction of more Born Learning Trails in our county. Donations like yours, or corporate partners like Wells Fargo, make these trails a reality.