On October 24th ACE Leadership and NMASLA (New Mexico American Society of Landscape Architects) held the first Pop-Up Playground in New Mexico at ACE Leadership High School. A Pop-Up Playground is a one-day event during which community members come together to provide children with an opportunity for free play.
The event drew 130 participants and 60 volunteers for a day of creativity and community. Participants received safety training in the use of tools and building materials and were set free to construct their own playground. The event demonstrates that a playground is not merely a series of slides and platforms, but rather a space where community members can unite to inspire and learn from each other.
Children of all ages pitched in and constructed the playground to show what is possible in a community. The success of the event brought attention to important issues related to distribution and availability of public and recreational open space, equal access to play environments, and a community’s ability to affect positive change and improve access to these opportunities within their neighborhoods.
The mission of the Pop-Up Playground movement is that “(…) children have the right to play as they please, and that a place that supports children’s play benefits everyone.”
While this Pop-Up Playground was the first of its kind in NM, it certainly will not be its last.
ACE Leadership High School students traveled to Santa Fe for the 2015 Advocacy Day. Students toured the State capital Building, met with Senators and participated in a bike tour of the city. This was all in conjunction with the American Society of Landscape Architects and the New Mexico “Complete Streets” Initiative. The initiative pushes for better integrated street design taking pedestrian/cyclist accommodations and considerations into account. ACE represented well and even met with Senator Cisco McSorely to discuss the initiative.
ACE students and staff, members of the Sawmill Community, and employees of ConocoPhillips participated in a day of service to help the development of the Sawmill Land Trust community garden. Garden beds were built, trees planted, and the acequia cleaned in preparation for the new community garden site.
As part of an international arts festival, ACE students worked with two artists from Europe, staff at the Albuquerque Museum, and fine art students from UNM to explore topics of place, community, society, the built environment and technology over a two week period. This work culminated in an installation created for the ISAE arts festival and hung in the Albuquerque Museum.
ACE students have tackled a series of home improvement projects for several of our Sawmill neighbors. Projects have included installing a yard fence, constructing a wheel chair ramp, and interior and exterior painting. Such work allows students to manage projects, create budgets, work with clients, and build relationships with our immediate neighbors.