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Posted: December 22, 2014

Generations Playground refinishing completed

The Early Years Committee is happy to announce the resurfacing of the Generations Playground was completed this fall.

GenerationsConveniently located next to Western Financial Place, the playground is especially designed for children aged 18 months – three years. It has taken the collaborative efforts of many dedicated community members, organizations and businesses to make this happen over many years.

In 2005 planning the replacement of the Rick Spooner ACT playground began. The committee decided the new playground would focus on play equipment for Cranbrook’s pre-school population – a new playground model for the community. A proposal was made to move the playground across the street onto city property and there the playground found its home adjacent to the recreation centre.

The concept of a Generations Playground began to evolve as a space where all generations could meet, play and grow. Members of the Cranbrook Early Years Committee heard from families and service providers who identified the lack of options for children with mobility challenges and special needs. These reports included feelings of exclusion and at times threat of injury to their children. The committee became motivated to create a play space where children of all abilities could play and be included to address this exceptional community need.

Photos submitted
Photos submitted

The committee envisioned a play space and park for pre-school children, located within close proximity to the seniors’ outdoor physical activity equipment and the youth Skateboard Park, to be a true gathering space that rises above differences of age or ability. For the next several years the Cranbrook Early Years Committee carried out this vision.

Recently installed rubber surfacing was deemed the best choice for young children. This surfacing is expensive and required a great deal of community partners and funders to realize. Many thanks to the following for their support: Tire Stewardship of BC, Success By 6, City of Cranbrook, Cranbrook & District Community Foundation, Cranbrook Rotary Club, Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club, Columbia Basin Trust, School District No. 5, Better Babies, United Commercial Travelers, East Kootenay Credit Union, Salvador Ready Mix, Fortis BC, Regional District of East Kootenay, Telus, donations in memory of Ewan Wray Robertson, and the Yellow Pages.

It’s a fun, well-used and safe play space now. A celebration is planned in the spring 2015 when the snow isn’t covering up the colourful surfacing!

There is some empty space remaining where the playground can be expanded. The committee’s goal is to continue improving the community experience for children of all abilities. Play structures which incorporate a variety of senses not only encourages inclusive enjoyment but also promotes the healthy development of all children.

The Cranbrook Early Years Committee meets monthly every first Tuesday of the month, 1-3 p.m. at Cranbrook Family Connections (209A – 16th Ave. N, beside Memorial Arena). Consisting of families, businesses and community organizations, including: prenatal programs, childcare facilities, early childhood development agencies, the school district, and the health care system, the committee meets every month to share ideas, information and to work on community projects like this playground. New members always welcome!

For more information please contact Shannon Duncan, Early Years Committee Coordinator: (250)427-7981 or [email protected] .

The Cranbrook Early Years Committee

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