A new playground at Riverside Park in Okotoks has been developed to provide an inclusive play area for children and caregivers of all ages and abilities.
Bridget Couban, Landscape Inspector for the Town of Okotoks, says the location was chosen for the renovation for a variety of reasons.
"The existing structures were due for an upgrade. The location and the size of the existing parking lot makes it, what we would call, a destination park. We thought putting the inclusive playground in that park would be a great location so people in Okotoks and the surrounding communities would be able to access the playground," she said.
The idea behind the inclusive playground is that families with children of different ages and abilities can play together, as well as including family members with limitations or mobility challenges.
Couban says the renovation was in the works for a number of years, and has finally come to fruition, with community input impacting the decision.
"We took out the old structures that were there, and replaced them with new, inclusive equipment. The structure is accessible by ramp, so each component on the structure is accessible to everyone," she said.
The old surface was also removed, and replaced with rubber surface.
" I think it's a great benefit for Okotoks and the surrounding municipality. It makes a play space where both children and caregivers of all ages and abilities can be together. It provides a community feature that everyone can use, I think it's a great benefit for everyone," said Couban.
The renovation had a price tag of $350,000, and there is still some paving needed in the area, which is set to take place in 2019.
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