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Posts from the ‘Events’ Category

Spread the Word!

We continue to move forward in our planning of the build. Please download this third page brochure and print off from your home. Help us get the word out and keep a stash in your car to hand out while you are out and about! Thanks and see you at the build on August 10, 11, and 12.

Black and White Third Page Brochure

About the Build. Much work is currently underway to ensure a successful build, and there are many areas in which you may help.  You can give of your time, tools, talents and energy to bring this most unique and inspiring Playscape to fruition.  Please take a moment to look over the areas of need listed below, for this project will only be possible by the generous support of our Birchtree families, local businesses, community groups and individuals.

Immediate Needs:

  • 10 Lead Builders – As a Lead Builder over the 3-day period, you will work alongside our Birchtree Playscape designer, Leon Smith of Planet Earth Playscapes.  The Lead Builder needs professional carpentry and building experience and will oversee a unique “element” of the Birchtree Playscape.
  • ​Tools Coordinator – As the Tools and Equipment Coordinator, you are a main point of communication for the Lead Builders.  You should be comfortable with power tools and know your way around a hardware store. You will be responsible for ensuring that the volunteers will have everything they need to get the job done and that the tool donors feel comfortable about lending to the project.
  • Chainsaw Team – As a member of this team, you need the experience of running a chainsaw.  This work is presently underway, as we clear trees in preparation for the Build, but we need more hands to help at this immediate time.  Please be aware that this endeavor can be accomplished as your schedule allows.

In addition to these immediate needs, we are in need of 150 – 200 volunteers over the 3-day event.  Both daycare and food will be provided for these days, so please bring the entire family.  If you would like to help build, please contact Lisa Shield at 775-5485 and fill out this online survey You can also visit our website,


Thank you for being a part of this momentous event as we use our hands, hearts, and heads to create the Birchtree Playscape.


Playscape – Community Build Update

Hello Birchtree Families!  Please mark your calendars for a very important weekend for our school.  The weekend dates of August 10, 11, and 12 will be a focused, organized, and fun community build for our playground.  Additional detailed information will be coming to you this summer, but for now please save the dates of August 10, 11, and 12.  Also, you can contact Jennifer Budde for additional information at 232-5852. Without the many generous, energetic hands of the Birchtree community, this won’t happen.  We, and most importantly, our students, need you to make this playground happen.  See you on August 10 – 12!

Playscape community build – Get involved!

If you are interested in participating in the community build, please fill out the follow survey and read the letter below for more information:


Dear Birchtree Parents, Grandparents and Friends:

The time has finally come to build the next phase of our playscape!

As you know, all the elements of the playscape have been requested by parents, teachers and students over the past year and a half.  Teachers were asked for lists of wants and needs in the playscape at special meetings for that purpose beginning last year. In addition to invitations to attend playscape organizational meetings, parents were asked to write their favorite playground ideas at the auction last year. This list has been an integral part of the process. Students were interviewed both by the Palmer Water and Conservation group for schoolyard habitat and by Leon Smith of Planet Earth Playscapes.  Leon brought all these elements together this year and ran a community brainstorming evening session where those present (teachers, admin and parents) prioritized elements and put them into a cohesive plan.  Leon drew up the overall design based on everyone’s input.  That is the drawing you see posted on the hallway inside the front doors.

The playscape committee which has included parents, teachers and administration was stalled out for lack of funding for much of this year but a series of breakthroughs in that arena at the District level have made it possible for the project to continue. The committee has met repeatedly this spring and once funding was secured asked Leon to create the detail drawings for the individual playscape elements shown in the overall design.  The school has acquired the help of a local certified playground inspector, landscaper and work crew leader to be the Lead Build Coordinator.  He will act as liaison between the designer and our volunteer crews.

Our playscape builds will be accomplished in much the same way Wonderland playground was built – as a community build coordinated and organized by professionals.  In other words, we (the school and community members) provide the labor, skills and equipment. The Designer and Build Coordinator provide the details,  oversight, direction and organization. Crews of volunteers will build each element or series of playscape elements. Each crew will have a Crew Leader who has taken on that element, studied the plans and is working in coordination with and under the direction of the Build Coordinator & Designer.

The playscape elements include: sand pit, swings, boulder scramble, tree house, balance logs, hill slides, sports field, garden, ball court, tunnels, gathering hut, bridge, monkey bars, climbing wall, climbing structures , music area, water play, outdoor mural and quiet sitting area.  Contact me for more information about any of these elements.

The build days will take place between the middle of June and the beginning of the school year in August at the direction of the Crew Leaders and Build Coordinator.  They will encompass weekends and weekdays.

An organizational meeting with the Designer and our Build Coordinator is scheduled for the first week of June.   Each crew leader in attendance can then begin to set up their crew and summer schedule to accomplish their playscape elements under the direction of the Build Coordinator.

The job I have taken on is to locate the people who will take each playscape element and to help them gather the skills and resources needed. I know that our crew leaders through their own inspired work will create a playscape environment that informs and uplifts our children’s lives for many years to come.

Anything contributed here, time or resources does count toward your yearly volunteer requirement at school. If you think that maybe you might be able to contribute at all, please fill out the survey &/or contact me.  You can fill out the survey online or you can fill out a paper survey at the front desk at school.

If you have any questions, please call or email me.  I look forward to working with you this summer. It will be fun.


Jennifer Budde
Volunteer Coordinator for the Playscape Builds
fax: 907-892-7244

Friday update, April 20, 2012

Friday update, April 20, 2012

Dear Parents,
As always, there is much to read about in the Friday Update.  The upcoming Spring Orchestra Concert for grades 4 -8 is next Friday at Wasilla Assembly of God from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.  Refreshments will be provided by the school afterward, and you do not need to bring food to share.  Please just bring your loving souls and proud hearts.
I must emphatically apologize to the Leingang family.  As you will see in the Friday Update, Alexa Leingang was highlighted this week for her incredible journey to the Alaska Geography Bee.  In the paper copies of the Update, I misspelled Alexa’s last name.  It has since been corrected, but I am so sorry for the mistake.
The Woodland May Faire is just around the corner.  We have a second committee meeting this coming Monday at 2 p.m.  If you would like to take part in the planning of this event, feel free to join us in the library.  There are many unique and exciting booths, which we could use your help with.
Have a wonderful weekend, and we will see you next week.
Tisha Jones
Parent Partnership Coordinator

Friday update, 3/2/2012

Here is the Friday update for March 2nd, 2012. Happy Friday!