Montessori school builds new playground with help of community members

This spring, local community members rallied to help construct a new landscape and playground at the Moab Montessori Center, a private school for children ages 15 months to seven years.

The center’s director, Jessica Driskell, and her husband, Matthew, took ownership of the property in October of 2017. “We knew that drastic improvements were needed in the outdoor area when we purchased the building, so we put that first on our list of things to do,” said Jessica. Once they began the project they were overwhelmed with an outpouring of support from parents, neighbors, and local businesses to help make it happen. “We were amazed at the level of support we received from the community. It was a true reflection of how the community feels about us,” said Jessica. “Our mission is to provide excellent educational opportunities for the families of Moab, and this outpouring of support shows that people love what we are doing and that we are moving in the right direction.”

To help offset the cost of needed purchases, fundraisers were held by XTreme 4X4 Tours and Pizza Hut, and others offered future fundraising opportunities to help with later phases of the project. Neighbor Bill Winfield allowed the children to play in his yard for several weeks while the work was being done. He also donated the use of his machinery and equipment as well as his time and expertise to help with the project. Raven’s Rim Zipline owner Casey Bynum donated irrigation equipment, time and expertise to help with the new landscape. Moab Landscape Maintenance owners, Ryan and Arran Barnum, donated their resources as well as the use of their crew, to help haul materials into the yard. Many other friends and parents of the school also helped. “We cannot say enough about how much we appreciate the efforts of all those who helped. We couldn’t have done it without them!” Matthew said.

The new landscape and playground features a colored concrete sidewalk and patio, a lawn, an enclosed vegetable garden and giant sandbox. A new play set includes a climbing wall, playhouse and swings. Cedar fencing has also been built around the property. “Our yard has gotten a serious makeover!” said Jessica. “The teachers, students and parents are so pleased with the results.” Matthew is currently installing additional shade structures, landscaping and a misting system to provide the final touches.

The school will hold an open house on Saturday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to noon and invites the public to attend.