The District of Sparwood is investing more than a quarter-million dollars to give parks in the area a much-needed facelift.
Throughout the months of September and October, five parks in Sparwood, including Cypress Park, Central Park, Juniper Park, Lions Park and the Leisure Centre grounds, will be using the $278,000 investment to bring in new equipment that can be enjoyed by children of all ages.
Duane Lawrence, director of community and facility services, said the current playgrounds are more than 20 years old and have “served their purpose” and said it’s time for an upgrade. He said in order to capitalize on a larger big order the district is able to get more out of the funding if all five parks are upgraded at once.
Playground sets and designs have come a long way over the past two decades, he said.
“Now all the playgrounds out there are designed to encourage free, active play and creativity and are there for physical enjoyment,” he said, adding there’s a “physical literacy aspect” to them as well.
“Physical literacy is a term used for describing how people or how kids learn about balance, strength, movement in environments,” he said. “Playgrounds now take that into consideration so the playgrounds that we chose are partly based on the design, the flow, the number of activities, the different types of activities that the kids can partake in. Also we have a variety of ages that can access different spots and challenge themselves as well.”
While the new parks aren’t wheelchair-accessible, Lawrence said there’s a fully wheelchair-accessible park at the elementary school.
Lawrence said some of the old equipment will be salvaged, such as teeter-totters and marry-go-rounds, but the majority of the old equipment will be recycled.
There is a lot of research done on playground equipment safe, and Lawrence said the new equipment will meet CSA and Industry Canada standards. He said he’s excited for the upgrades.
“These playgrounds that we’re installing should provide a unique environment at all the different playgrounds,” he said. “We’re really confident that the kids are going to really enjoy these new playgrounds that we’re putting in.”