Kelowna is getting its third fully accessible children’s playground thanks to a contribution by the federal government.
Ottawa is giving the city $50,000 to build the playground as part of the improvements to Rutland’s Centennial Park, which it bought from the Rutland Park’s Society earlier this year.
The new playground will be the second phase of work at the park, with the first, a new soccer field, set to have work started on it in the fall. The field is part of the $400,000 the city promised to spend immediately to improvement the dilapidated park.
“The City of Kelowna is excited about the future of Rutland Centennial Park and we’re so pleased the Government of Canada shares our enthusiasm for this revitalized neighbourhood park,” said Kelonwa Mayor Colin Basran.
He said similar playgrounds, which are accessible to all children, Regardless of any disability, currently exist at the Parkinson Recreation Centre and in Rutland’s Ben Lee Park.
He noted the federal money is coming as an enabling accessibility grant, which are provided to ensures all children can enjoy playgrounds and park facilities.
On hand for the announcement were federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, and Kelonwa-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan, who made the announcement on behalf federal Minister of State for Social Development Candice Bergen.
Equipment to be be provides at the playground is described as an inclusive and accessible structure.
“Together with the hard work of numerous volunteers and organizations like the City of Kelowna, we are supporting families and children to make Rutland Centennial Park’s playground accessible to all,” said Cannan.
Meanwhile, the president of the Rutland Park’s Society, Todd Sanderson, said work to renovate the park’s hall — which the society kept as part of its deal $800,000 with the city— is expected to start in 2016.
He said some minor rearranging of delivery entrance will take place during the summer now that Roxby Plaza on the west side of the hall has been improved by the city and the parking lot behind it has become the new home of the Rutland Community Market on weekends.