"The longstanding partnership that Kalamazoo Valley Community College has had with the downtown Kalamazoo area will provide a smooth transition into the transformation of the green space on Bronson Park. With the end goal of creating a nature part-like setting for children in the greater Kalamazoo area, this partnership will greatly benefit both the College and the City of Kalamazoo going forward."
L. Marshall Washington, Ph.D., President Kalamazoo Valley Community College
"I support this project for many reasons. One reason that particularly stands out for me is our childcare center will be able to use this space daily. We serve low-income families in the greater Kalamazoo area. We are so excited for this special place where our young children will be able to explore and use their imagination…………The Children’s nature Playscape on Bronson Park will be a welcome addition to all the other wonderful growth happening in downtown Kalamazoo."
Kathy McNinch, Executive Director, Kalamazoo Drop-In Child Care Center
"Nature based (vs. human constructed) play areas have demonstrated significant benefits for children’s development, physical and emotional health, and discovery-based exploration while cultivating a relationship with the natural world. Those playscapes situated in urban areas provide a particularly unique asset and opportunity for children and their families……. We look forward to deploying our institutional resources, expertise, and promotion toward the success of this wonderful program for our community!"
Nathan J. Smallwood, President and CEO, Kalamazoo Nature Center
"As you know, play is an important role in children’s learning as they explore, ask questions, observe, make predictions, and experiment. This playscape will also provide children the opportunity to express themselves through nature, increase gross motor skills, as well as social skills. Lastly, in the mist of the COVID and racial pandemics that are plaguing our country, play is a healthy way to address mental health as it lends itself as an outlet to reduce stress and anxiety…………. As an early childhood educator and a mom to a very active and inquisitive 4-year-old boy, I support the development and funding of the Children’s Nature Playscape on Bronson Park, due to the many benefits it can provide the young children in Kalamazoo County."
Rachel M Roberts Director of Preschool Programs, Kalamazoo RESA
"We believe children have the right to play and access to play experiences with the natural world positively affects their emotional, physical, and cognitive development. Bringing the natural world closer to the city’s center will be of interest to families of young children as a unique and valuable play experience."
Ann Brown, Executive Director, The Learning Village