Via the City of Vancouver
Pirate ships, tree houses, trampolines, hill slides, play kitchens, and spider web nets are keeping children entertained at six new playgrounds that have or are opening across the city.
The Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre playground opens January 21 and features a custom treehouse around a sequoia tree and a netted tunnel that wraps around half the tree trunk, as well as an eagle carved by a local resident to keep children safe.
“Eagles for my people are considered protectors,” said Don Wadhams, who spent a month carving it from yellow cedar. A Kwakwaka’wakw ceremony to unveil the eagle and wake it up will be held January 28.
Cedar Cottage, Charleson, Jones, Kaslo, and Pandora parks have also received new playgrounds. The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation renewed the six playgrounds after consulting with children, parents, and community stakeholders. The playgrounds range in size and type, and each has a variety of equipment that is bound to stretch and strengthen the motor skills of the children who enjoy them.
“Updating our playgrounds is an ongoing priority for the Park Board. Playgrounds are obviously really fun places where kids can spend time,” said Camil Dumont, Park Board Chair.
“They also serve as a space where children develop social, cognitive, and emotional skills. The playgrounds at Ray-Cam and Charleson Park will help serve the students at the nearby preschool and elementary schools as well, which is really great.”
There are currently 160 playgrounds in the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation’s system, many of which are reaching the end of their lifespan. Playgrounds in Ash, Beaconsfield, Brewers, Champlain Heights, Granville, William Mackie, and Winona parks are also scheduled to receive upgrades and two preschool play areas are in the works at Trout Lake and Thunderbird community centres. These playground renewals are funded through the 2019 Capital Plan.
Working with the Kitsilano Community Centre Association and local residents, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation also renewed the spray park at Connaught Park, making it more engaging, accessible, and sustainable. It opened last summer.
Harriet Fancott is the Editor and Social Media Manager for Vancouver Mom. She has over 20 years experience in the arts, tech and mom-based blogging arenas. She lives in East Vancouver with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring all that Vancouver has to offer from festivals and events to playgrounds and beaches to sushi and ice cream (although not together).