Bill Robertson Park in Okotoks is expanding to become more inclusive.

Thanks to a grant and the Okotoks Rotary Club, Bill Robertson Park will be getting a swing that is specifically built to be used by someone in a wheelchair.

"When the Town first constructed that playground, the Rotary Club was very supportive and they did donate the picnic shelter that's there already," says Mayor Tanya Thorn. "And the Town, based on feedback and use at that park, we were looking to add more inclusive components into that, but we needed to look at some additional funding." 

So, they chatted with the Rotary Club.

"Basically supported them to apply for a Provincial funding program, the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP), to expand that playground and add components and we were successful with that," Mayor Thorn explains. 

The cost of expanding the playground and adding the new swing will cost around $106,000, with the Rotary Club and the grant covering the majority of the costs, while the Town itself will pitch in about $10,000.

"It helps us add a great amenity into that playground. It will accommodate somebody that's in a wheelchair as well as an able-bodied person at the same time, so this adds more of that inclusive feature."

The Rotary Club is currently promoting their flag program, which will help them to raise money for this swing.

"We really value, as a town, our partnerships with our local non-profits and the Rotary has been a huge supporter of advancing initiatives in our community like this. So, we appreciate that they continue to work with us on this."

The swing is planned to be installed this year.

On top of adding the swing, they will also be doing some surfacing improvements to ensure everything is properly accessible.

Mayor Thorn says that as they continue to add more community playgrounds around town, they will ensure the parks are inclusive, so everyone can play.

If people want to help pitch towards the new swing, there are a couple options.

One is to participate in the Rotary Flag program, and the other is to donate money directly to the Town. 

To learn more about the parks around town, head over to their website.