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How it all began

Posted 2018 by Audrey

The Clubhouse Farm started in 2012 when our educators decided enough was enough – our children are not getting time to play outside as much as they should be, and we weren’t the only ones to notice this. When we went to parks in the downtown area, they were often crowded. We always have to be on the lookout for sharp or harmful objects, and make sure to stay away from bushes, limiting valuable play opportunities.

Too many things stand in the way of good free play today – liability concerns, screen time, real hazards, and adult fears of children getting hurt, thereby reducing their manageable risk. But children need to play – it’s their work, it’s their right, and it’s essential for their development.

Luckily for us, a community partner had an unused piece of farm land in the north of town. Thanks to the Canada Student Job Grant, we had two university students who could clear the land, put up a fence, and help pave the way for the Clubhouse Farm.

It wasn’t an easy go, but that’s a story for another time. After our start in 2012, The Clubhouse received the BC Child Care Award of Excellence in Innovation. Although this Farm and Nature project was done on the side of running the Clubhouse programs, we analyzed what was working well and what needed improvement, and added a bit more to The Clubhouse Farm every year. Being parents and members of this community ourselves, we were and still are very motivated to create a space that would benefit all children: We know our children need outdoor play time, they need to get dirty, to have vast space to run and climb and explore, and they need to connect to the natural environment – important for their health and well being, but also the health and well-being of the natural world.