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Photos: Preschoolers’ vision for the Basalt Whitewater Park

Last spring, the Pitkin County Healthy Rivers Advisory Board organized a stakeholder meeting to gather input regarding the Whitewater Park in Basalt. At that confab, Ali Wade, a world-champion kayaker and a preschool teacher at the Waldkinder Adventure School in Carbondale, offered to ask her students — little-bitty humans, aged 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 — to do some conceptual drawings regarding what they would like to see at the park.

Wade subsequently took her class to the park, located on Two Rivers Road about a quarter-mile upriver from the Roaring Fork/Fryingpan confluence — for a field trip.

The students were then tasked with conceptualizing “nature play feature ideas.”

The results were so cool that they were included in the “public outreach and support” section of an application package submitted by the Healthy Rivers Board to the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund (GOCO), which, last week, awarded a $350,000 grant for improvements at the Whitewater Park, which opened in May 2017. 

Whether the drawings from Wade’s class of preschoolers influenced the GOCO decisionmakers, who can say? But it’s our guess that they did.

Herein we include several of those drawings, all of which have had the names of the students redacted. The accompanying text was written

by Wade.