CDA Debuts Outdoor Learning Environment in National City

Parks Child Development Center Outdoor Learning Environment Ribbon Cutting Event


CDA Debuts Outdoor Learning Environment in National City

NBC 7 San Diego Video Coverage | Photo Album


National City, CA, July 27, 2017 – Child Development Associates (CDA) celebrated the debut of its innovative Outdoor Learning Environment at Parks Child Development Center in National City, holding a ribbon-cutting event for local officials, community partners, and project donors on July 27, 2017.


Earlier this year, CDA was awarded a First 5 San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative (QPI) grant of $246,000 and received generous donations from MA Engineers, Inc., and Bank of the West to help transform the previous playground into an outdoor learning environment. This new environment serves as an extension of our indoor classrooms, providing a positive learning opportunity through art, science, and nature while promoting self-directed play, and the development of gross motor skills.


Three years ago, we built a similar project, known as the “Habitat gARTen” at our Hilltop Child Development Center in Chula Vista. Since then, we have experienced first-hand the positive learning opportunities and growth that a high quality outdoor classroom can provide not only to a child, but to a community. This grant has allowed us to expand these opportunities to more low-income children and the National City community,” says Rick Richardson, President and CEO of CDA.


The Parks project was designed by Rooted in Place Landscape Architecture and includes a variety of play areas such as: an explore and seek wildlife corridor, a trike track open play area, a mural and art wall, a dig in and build sand area, a sensory play nature area, a sensory water play area, and a children’s garden.


Currently enrolling for the 2017-2018 school year, Parks Child Development Center is one of three preschools operated by CDA in south San Diego County.



Child Development Associates (CDA) is a community based, non-profit agency that has been providing child care and development services throughout San Diego County since 1974. At CDA, we believe in creating opportunities for families to prosper. Every day, we provide low income families access to high-quality early education so children can better succeed in school and life, affordable childcare so parents can work or complete their education, and nutritious meals so children grow healthy bodies.


Contact: Eileen Franco, External Relations Coordinator – (619) 427-4411 ext. 1203