Climb, run and splash at park’s grand opening

The new Sapperton Park playground aims to provide a unique adventure play environment for kids.

Erika Mashig, the city’s parks and open space planner, said the playground was inspired by the large, mature trees and sloping topography and sought to preserve and integrate the park’s natural features into the design.  
It aims to provide opportunities to interact with natural materials like sand, water, boulders and grass and play on structures built from locally sourced cedar logs.

“A lot of people are really intrigued by the unique design,” she said. “It has got a presence.”

The playground opened to the public in May, and the spray park is set to be finished in time for the park’s official grand opening on Monday, June 26. Community members are welcome to attend the event, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Students from Richard McBride Elementary School will be among the attendees at the grand opening, as they inspired the park’s design. At least 60 kids contributed ideas for the playground design.

“As part of the first phase of the design consultation process, we set up outside of Richard McBride Elementary School when kids were coming out. We had modelling clay, pipe cleaners and a bunch of different kinds of materials. They had an opportunity to build their dream park for Sapperton and an opportunity to tell us what kinds of things they had designed and what their ideas were,” Mashig said. “We photographed them and wrote some notes, and brought that back into the design process.”

While the original plan was to integrate the massive truck tires from the old playground into the new design, that didn’t work out as planned.

“They were installed vertically in a dragon form. When they used machines to start plucking them out to move them they started to crumble and fall apart,” Mashig said. “It seemed like an appropriate time to recycle them.”

According to Mashig, the budget for the new Sapperton Park playground and spray park is $650,000. Although the spray park is smaller than its predecessor, she said it has some additional features such as a water channel and sand play feature.

“The water channel is open earlier and stays open later in the season. It’s more useable throughout the year and is interactive as well,” she said. “There is an opportunity for kids to splash around and cool down.  It has other play value.”

For more photos of the new Sapperton Park, check out our website: www.tinyurl.com/SappertonPark2017.

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