The Cranbrook Early Years Committee has completed the first 2 phases of the Generations Playground which is Cranbrook’s first fully universally-accessible playground. The universally-accessible playground provides an opportunity for all children to play side-by-side at Cranbrook’s newest Tot Park.
This is the first playground of its kind in the community. Currently most of our playgrounds have a pea gravel base, which makes it impossible to traverse in a wheelchair or with a walker. The Cranbrook Early Years Committee feels an accessible playground benefits not only the children, but the community as a whole by providing a level playing field for all children of all abilities. Parents, grandparents and caregivers with accessibility issues also have the opportunity to play alongside and supervise safely with greater ease.
The playground allows children with disabilities; physical, developmental and sensory to play side-by-side with their able-bodied peers, fostering acceptance and awareness. It features rubber surfacing which is a spongy, safe and colourful surface providing not only higher accessibility, but also cutting down on bumps, bruises and choking hazards. All children deserve to play together in a safe and engaging environment regardless of their mental or physical ability.
The current structure features a special transfer module so children can transfer onto the structure if they are physically able to get out of their wheelchairs and crawl onto the structure. Play event highlights also include: an accessible swing, toddler swing, ground-level play events, areas for independent and group play, an accessible water fountain, as well as pathways from the parking area to the playground and picnicking areas. This is a gathering place for families, integrating seniors on the fitness park with children playing on the playground through a conveniently located picnicking area where everyone can gather.
The final phase of the project, currently the focus of fundraising for the Committee, is the addition of a musical sound play structure installation. Through the development of play structures that enhance the use of all senses, the playground will become even more inclusively accessible.
This project is a successful example of what can be accomplished through a partnership between the community, the Cranbrook Early Years Committee and the City of Cranbrook. Play is a critical component to the development of healthy, happy children.
It is not too late to get involved by becoming a sponsor, a volunteer or both! Contact Natalie Rudrum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to thank all of our sponsors to date:
– City of Cranbrook
– Fortis BC
– Columbia Basin Trust
– Sunrise Rotary of Cranbrook
– Cranbrook & District Community Foundation
– Better Babies
– Tire Stewardship of BC
– Success By 6
– Cranbrook Rotary Club
– School District #5
– United Commercial Travelers
– East Kootenay Credit Union
– Salvador Ready Mix
– Regional District of East Kootenay
– donations in memory of Ewan Wray Robertson
– Yellow Pages