Thursday, October 18, 2012

Playground replacements ensure safe places for children to play

Calgary kids can be seen in droves monkeying around on new and improved city playgrounds.

In 2012, 23 City playgrounds have been completely replaced and four playgrounds received a new fall surface at a cost of approximately $2.6 million.

“Ongoing maintenance and replacement of playgrounds that reach the end of their lifecycle is a safety priority for us and one we take very seriously,” says Todd Reichardt, Manager, City of Calgary Parks.

Maintaining safe and wholesome places for children to play and families to socialize supports The City of Calgary’s goal of complete communities.

The City maintains 1,048 playgrounds and each one is inspected seven times a year. Life expectancy of a playground is approximately 15 years. Replacements are prioritized through a rating system that evaluates:
  • Condition of each piece of equipment
  • Usage of equipment
  • Opportunity of leveraging funds from partner organizations
Almost $1 million of the total $2.6 million playground investment was allocated from the community investment fund. Parks Foundation Calgary, community fundraising initiatives and private donations contributed $1.6 Million.

“Partner organizations are integral to keeping City playgrounds safe,” says Reichardt. "It is through the hard work, cooperation and commitment of many that made this year’s replacements possible.”

Myrna Dubé, CEO of Parks Foundation Calgary, said the non-profit organization is proud to support communities through their Building Playgrounds and Communities grant Program.

“This program allows us to work with communities throughout the entire process of redeveloping a playground,” she says.

Seventeen of the 23 playgrounds received funding from Parks Foundation Calgary's Building Playgrounds and Communities Grant Program in 2012.

“Working with valued partners like the City of Calgary, community associations and corporate groups, we create meaningful play spaces for children and families in the community," adds Dubé.

Created by City Council on July 25, 2011, the community investment fund will invest $252 million from 2012 to 2016 into tangible and useful community improvements on things like libraries, recreation centres, swimming pools, arenas, athletic fields, parks, playgrounds and emergency services.

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