Beacon Hill Nursery School to Open Front Playspace

To mark its 60th anniversary, the Beacon Hill Nursery School will open a newly renovated front play-space on its Joy Street campus in mid-September.

Acton landscape architect Holly Ben-Joseph designed the playground that features educational elements for children ages 2 to 6, including a discovery/science center, as well as a full-body length slate board, mirror and magnetized wall. Other elements are intended to enhance students’ social skills, such as a play hut, a sand play area and a communal log-seating area, among other features.  The playground also offers a xylophone made of wrenches, a “wale drum” and other musical elements.

Another unique feature of the playground is Mayor Menino’s chair – a 40-inch wide wooden chair carved out of a tree trunk and dedicated to the memory of Boston’s former mayor who visited the school and “was instrumental in getting things done,” said Lucinda Ross, the school’s executive director.

Like the school itself, the playground is based on the Reggio Emilia approach, an educational philosophy for preschools, Ross said.

Ross said the play-space also makes use of its city setting, looking out on Cambridge Street and its Engine 4/Ladder 24 firehouse. A periscope will even offer children a view of this urban landscape.

Meanwhile, the new playground will compliment the school’s 2,500 square-foot rear natural play-space, which was also designed by Ben-Joseph.

“The rear play-space is an isolated pocket, while the new one will talk about access to the city,” Ross said.

Neighbors who would like to donate to the Beacon Hill Nursery School’s 60th-anniverary capital campaign can contact Lucinda Ross at 617-227-0822 or via e-mail at [email protected].

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