Vancouver, Wash. — Washington State Senator Annette Cleveland has secured $515,000 from the Local and Community Funds budget to support the planning of a new Children’s Museum in Clark County, WA. The museum will be created and operated by the Columbia Play Project, which also provides a Mobile Children’s Museum in the area.

The funds will be used to offer public engagement opportunities, business and strategic planning, space identification, space and exhibit planning, and design. Senator Cleveland stated that “Nothing is more important than healthy children and families. Play is essential to health as it contributes to cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being. Securing state funding for the Columbia Play Project helps support this important local effort and advances the vision for a Children’s Museum in Vancouver to support the success of future generations”.

Jeanne Bennett, Columbia Play Project Board Chair, said, “The Columbia Play Project is thrilled to receive this support, which allows for the critical planning necessary to create a children’s museum. Senator Annette Cleveland was an early believer in this mission and has demonstrated her support for children and families with these funds”. She added that Columbia Play Project intends to build a world-class exploratory play space with permanent and rotating exhibits, art, makers, science and computer labs, a theater, outdoor play space, and a curated children’s library.

The Columbia Play Project is a carefully planned project designed to expand exploratory play options for children and families throughout Southwest Washington. The project aims to be a hub where all families can safely engage, connect, explore, and ignite their imaginations. It has a three-phase plan to create exploratory play activities focused on the themes of People & Culture, the Natural World, and Engineering and Arts. Phase I includes themed play kits to be used at home, available for ordering online. Phase II is a similarly themed mobile museum with removable exhibits that can be set up outdoors for socially distanced play. The Mobile Museum has an extensive public schedule for 2023 and is available by reservation for private use. Phase III is a full-scale, bricks-and-mortar exploratory play space with indoor and outdoor play areas and permanent and rotating exhibits. To learn more about the project, visit www.columbiaplayproject.org.

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