Parents at Pleasant Hill volunteered to prepare the schoolyard for more outdoor in-person learning as well as cleaned up the area for Earth Day on April 22. Catherine Bart photo

SCARBOROUGH — A group of Pleasant Hill School parents celebrated Earth Day on April 22 at the schoolyard, cleaning up and preparing the space for more outdoor learning.

With the help of local donations, parent-teacher association funding, volunteers and consent from the school, Pleasant Hill’s campus will soon be ready for more outdoor learning and play, said parent Winnie Lee.

During the Earth Day event, volunteers stained wooden benches and picnic tables that resident Sheldon Gregoire provided to the Scarborough Primary PTA at a discounted price, Amber Hoxha, one of the volunteer parents, said. Tables and benches went to each of the primary schools.

The benches volunteer parents stained at Pleasant Hill School will be used for outdoor learning or eating outside. Courtesy photo Amber Hoxha

The benches will allow for more outdoor activities, including meal times, giving students enough space in between to social distance, Lee said.

“A couple of us came up with the idea, and we talked with the principal and she thought it was a great idea,” she said. “Just to be able to be outside, eat outside more, because actually one of the biggest challenges with coronavirus is feeding. This was an idea to get students out and get everyone feeling safer.”

The group would like to also build a pergola with closed sides so that students could still use the tables on a winter day, Hoxha said.

“We’re alleviating space constraints,” she said.

The parents have already been working to accommodate more outdoor in-person learning in the schoolyard, Lee said.

Mike Price of Price Woodworks in Scarborough built garden beds for Pleasant Hill, for which the school paid, Hoxha said.

Besides the bench and table project, the parents are interested in playground additions on Pleasant Hill’s schoolyard, she said. The group is looking for local donations or for businesses to alleviate the cost of items.

“(We’re) mostly try to stick with Scarborough businesses, even within Pleasant Hill, too,” Hoxha said. “We’re looking for donations. If anyone wants to donate to the playground cause, because we’re hoping to do this at other schools, too, in Scarborough. If Eight Corners and Blue Point want help, we’ll go help them, too.”

People interested can email [email protected]

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