Menomonee Falls — A sign reading "Watch! Stop! Learn! Play!" will soon become part of the scenery at Oakwood Park in Menomonee Falls. This is one of several interactive play stops that will become part of Waukesha County's ninth Born Learning Trail.
Installation will begin the first week in June, thanks to a partnership between GE Captial and United Way-Waukesha County. The improvements are being made at no cost to the village, as GE Capital is providing the funding — an estimated $2,500 — for the trail as well as the volunteers who will be installing the trail.
"It will certainly be a nice asset to the community," said Director of Public Works Arlyn Johnson. When approached by United Way earlier this year, Johnson said he suggested Oakwood Park, located at N6889 Dennis Droese Drive, because the learning trail will fit nicely along some of the existing asphalt trails within the park.
"And it's close to play structures to make sure it's visible and user-friendly," he said. Not that United Way Director of Volunteer Engagement Lori Hayes has any concerns about it being anything other than inviting for families who use the park.
"(Born Learning Trails) help parents and caregivers in the community to create quality early childhood learning opportunities within the parks," said Hayes. "The trails help encourage parental engagement in the lives of children, which is an important piece of the United Way Helping Kids Succeed initiative."
The "Watch! Stop! Learn! Play!" sign is an example of the 10 signs to be installed in the park, each designed to suggest activities for adults and children to participate in together.
The activities for preschool and toddler children have been incredibly well received at the other trails in the area, and Hayes said she hopes the new one in Menomonee Falls will be no different.
"It's a lot of learning hidden within a whole lot of fun," Hayes said. "It might be educational for the little person involved, but it's a lot of fun for their adults too."
AT A GLANCE
Other Born Learning Trails in Waukesha County
Mukwonago's Miniwaukan Park (sponsored by ProHealth Care)
New Berlin's ProHealth Care Park (sponsored by FedEx SmartPost)
Oconomowoc's Wood Creek Park (sponsored by Aurora Health Care)
Pewaukee's Nettesheim Park (sponsored by We Energies)
Sussex's Weyer Park (sponsored by Power Sports Network)
Waukesha's Heyer Park (sponsored by Oberlin Filter Company)
Waukesha's Cutler Park (sponsored by Waukesha Family Practice Center)
Brookfield's Wirth Park (sponsored by UPS)
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