Flanked by children, members of council and others involved with the creation of new playground equipment, Summerland Mayor Toni Boot cuts the ribbon to officially open the new equipment. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Flanked by children, members of council and others involved with the creation of new playground equipment, Summerland Mayor Toni Boot cuts the ribbon to officially open the new equipment. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland opens state-of-the-art playground

Facility in Memorial Park the first of its kind in Canada

A new children‘s playground, the first of its kind in Canada, is now open in Memorial Park in Summerland.

The playground was designed by Playspace Adventure Ltd. and is for children aged two to 12. It has unique features to incorporate learning into elements of play.

It includes a slide called the Mighty Descent which allows children to slide down with their friends. In addition, there are elements of science, technology, engineering, art and math in the play space.

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The design includes sensory panels, kinetic flags, a spinner that reflects sunlight, a problem-solving puzzle, technology through kid-powered and solar-powered energy and math and engineering development through signage that educates children on momentum, movement and angles.

Children were playing on the equipment on the morning of May 20 as members of council prepared for the official opening.

“The people who love playgrounds are already taking full advantage of it,” said Summerland Mayor Toni Boot.

The cost of the facility was $265,000. The municipality provided $250,000 with the remainder of the money coming from the Summerland Credit Union, the Summerland Kinsmen Club and the Kinsmen Foundation. Each of these organizations contributed $5,000 to the project.

In addition, the Summerland Firefighters Association, the Summerland Kinsmen Club and the Summerland Rotary Club provided labour support with the demolition of old equipment from the site.

“This amazing new playground that has been created is sure to be a treasured destination for families and people of all ages. It will help contribute to the growing and vibrant community for years to come,” said Joshua McKay, Summerland Credit Union vice-president of marketing and communications.

Linda Van Alphen, president of the Rotary Club of Summerland, said “the Rotary Club of Summerland is pleased to have taken part in the new Memorial Park playground installation.”

“The Fire Department was more than happy to volunteer their time with this adventure playground for the children. It was great to see all the volunteers come together and show what this community is all about, despite the weather everyone worked hard with smiles on their faces,” said Nigel Thomas of the Summerland Fire Department.

Much of the playground equipment formerly at the site will still remain, although it has been relocated. This includes swings and a play structure for younger children.

Boot said the playground equipment aligns with Summerland council’s goal of promoting active lifestyles.

“This is a wonderfully innovative and vibrant play space in the heart of downtown Summerland,” she said.

On May 14, more than 40 volunteers were at the park to distribute wood chips on the site.

Almost a year earlier, the municipality opened an outdoor fitness area near the playground equipment, another alignment with the municipality’s active lifestyle strategic priority.

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