Autumn’s Center Receives Grant For Playground

Date posted - May 9, 2016

Spencer, Iowa — Seasons Center for Behavioral Health has received a $5,000 grant from the Clay County Community Foundation to help fund a therapeutic playground at Autumn’s Center.

Architect's Drawing of Autumn's Center Playground

Architect’s Drawing of Autumn’s Center Playground

The therapeutic playground will be specially designed playground equipment for outdoor play therapy at Autumn’s Center, which is scheduled to open in Spencer this September.  The playground, which is designed and contracted by Landscape Structures, Inc. of Delano, Minnesota, will serve as an outdoor enhancement to a child’s therapy plan.  The purpose of the therapeutic playground is to strengthen developmental skills in children, including sensory, motor, cognitive, and social-emotional.

Natalie Sandbulte, Director of Clinical Psychology at Seasons Center, says sometimes children have a difficult time processing their feelings and experiences in an office setting.  She says the therapeutic playground will allow children to move about if they need to, which facilitates the therapeutic process and the child’s ability to learn.  She says the playground will be a wonderful opportunity for children to learn new skills in a natural and familiar environment.

The funding provided by the Clay County Community Foundation will assist in building Phase 1 of the playground project, designed for 5-12 year olds. The playground will include an integrated play area called “PlayBooster” and a freestanding play area.

Autumn’s Center is named for Autumn Elgersma, the Orange City 3-year old who died at the hands of her babysitter in December, 2013.

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