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The Nature Kids Discovery Zone at Alicia Sanchez International Elementary School in Lafayette. The Nature Kids Discovery Zone was recognized at the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado’s ELITE awards ceremony. (Photo by Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
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Architects who designed the Nature Kids Discovery Zone at Alicia Sanchez Elementary International School were recently honored for their sustainability work.

Designscapes Colorado placed as a finalist in the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado 2020 ELITE awards in the sustainability category.

“The ELITE Awards is the only event of its kind in Colorado and recognizes statewide landscape companies for unparalleled professionalism, excellence and innovation,” according to the statement.

The ALCC is a nonprofit professional trade association for landscape companies in the state.

Nature Kids Discover Zone is part of a national model to connect the youth with the outdoors. It features a manmade creek, climbing structures that look like trees and shaded gazebos.

The work was funded by a public bond bid through Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Grant.

Designscapes worked with industry partners to make the “nature-play” project sustainable and educational.

“Our award winners and finalists reflect the key values of Colorado’s landscape industry,” said ALCC CEO John McMahon. “This includes a commitment to environmental stewardsh­­ip as well as sound business practices and community service.”

Other finalists from Boulder County include:

  • Boulder’s Native Edge Landscapes for Foothills Terrace Farm project
  • Longmont’s Scythe Robotics for its self-driving electric lawn mower
  • Boulder’s LID Landscapes in the design/build category for its Terrace Entry project
  • Environmental Designs Inc. and Boulder’s Marpa Design Studio in the design/build category for their project Two Forms
  • Longmont’s TLC Gardens LLC for its Contra Verde project
  • Longmont’s Changing Landscapes was honored as a Landscape Construction finalist for its Packer Residence project in Boulder

For the full list of winners and projects, visit alcc.com/elite-2020.

The Nature Kids Discovery Zone at Alicia Sanchez International Elementary School.(Courtesy of Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado))

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