From pirate ships to treehouses, trampolines to hill slides, play kitchens to spider web nets, children in Vancouver have numerous activities to enjoy at six new playgrounds that recently opened across the city.
The Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre playground opens Jan. 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, explains the City of Vancouver in a news release.
"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 Jan. 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 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."
160 playgrounds in the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation's system
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.