Northwest Indian College Early Childhood Education Initiatives are for
and by the Lummi community’s children and families

Sandbox Rebuilding Project

During the summer of 2016 the Northwest Indian College Early Learning Center (ELC) Director made the difficult decision to remove the large natural log-lined sandbox from the main play area. This structure was built by volunteers in 2009 and reflected the tidal shores that surround the Lummi Reservation. The sandbox was filled with natural sand similar to what you might find on the local beaches, and surrounded by large smooth sections of split logs that brought to mind the weatherworn driftwood the children on the Salish Sea grow up climbing on.

Sadly, by 2016 the wood frame had deteriorated to the point that it had become hazardous, and the difficult decision was made to remove it. It was replaced with an 8x8’ cedar framed in-ground sandbox, filled with the same natural sand. A new cover was made to meet Licensing requirements, using a mesh cover weighted at the corners with crab pot bait bags stuffed with smooth beach stones. These items are familiar to many of the Early Learning Center children whose families fish and crab for food and income. Our hope is that this new natural sand play space will continue to evolve as we develop our vision for the Coast Salish inspired Outdoor Learning Center at the ELC.

-Written by Alicia Allard, Director, Northwest Indian College Early Learning Center