Glenmerry’s neighbourhood kids have been drawn closer together with the addition of the West Kootenay’s first wheelchair-accessible playground.
About 50 members from the community witnessed the elementary school’s 290 kids climb atop the new playground last Friday, after a ribbon cutting at the grand opening of the Glenmerry Community Playground.
“When I was a kid, a neighbourhood park was always the hub and it’s just really brought that back for Glenmerry,” Sheryl Moon, outgoing parent advisory council (PAC) chair said Tuesday.
“It doesn’t matter who’s there, they all just start interacting and playing together.”
The $230,000 project, plus donations made in kind from local businesses and organizations, started as a vision five years ago and with guidance from Glenmerry parents came to fruition.
“It is named the community park because it was community built, community funded, and it’s for the community,” said Moon, who added Friday’s celebration made that quite clear.
“The smile on my face was not unlike when I got married, it’s like when you have one of those perma-smiles and you just can’t stop – that was the whole feeling.”
Glenmerry aimed for a playground that would raise the bar on physical activity and speak to a child by touching on all senses – from looking through a periscope to playing on a xylophone or watching a friend swing across the monkey bars.
The new addition not only includes a wheelchair circuit, but a roller slide, overhead spinners, zip line, step bridge and more.
Supported by a soft synthetic lawn, the 4,600-square-foot facility is four times the size of the old structure.
“I think it demonstrates what can be done when people step up and come together,” said Moon. “I think it is unique for this area right now, I’m not aware of any other one like it.”
After actively pushing for this park at the school level and in the community, Moon says it’s time for new energy and is stepping down from the PAC chair position but not before completing her last task.
The one-of-a-kind structure will be further highlighted in the playground manufacture’s (Landscape Structures) new catalogue and Moon is looking for neighborhood kids to take part in the photo shoot planned for the first week of August.
Those interested should contact Moon at 368-5994.