Less plastic, more trees: New effort seeks to reinvent preschool playgrounds and capture kids’ imaginations

Michelle Dalbotten, the energetic director of a Northglenn child care center called Step by Step, doesn’t like her playground. Something about it just doesn’t work.

Recently, Dalbotten found a solution in the form of a new grant program called the ECHO initiative, which aims to reinvent more than 100 preschool and child care playgrounds across Colorado over the next few years. Think mud kitchens, looping tricycle trails, vegetable gardens, stages, shady reading nooks and dump truck construction zones.

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