The current playground at Pioneer Park is well-used by local kids, and the District of Kent has decided it’s time for an upgrade. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

New playground on the way for Pioneer Park

The accessible playground should be open by the beginning of June

Kids playing in Pioneer Park will soon have a new playground to catch their attention, after Kent council voted to approve a fully-accessible playground Monday (March 11).

In January 0f 2019, the District of Kent was awarded a grant through the Enabling Accessibility Program to create an “all-inclusive” playground next to the existing playground. The district also received a grant to install a recycled rubber surface on the ground, instead of the wood chips that are in place for the current playground.

On March 11, council reviewed five different playground designs and decided on Habitat Systems $139,400 playground.

This design includes a equipment such as a wiggle ladder, sky rail climber, curved balance beam and overhead trekker ladder, as well as wheelchair accessible elements such as an “oodle swing” and trail tracker. Picnic tables will also be installed around the playground.

A rendering of the future Pioneer Park playground, as designed by Habitat systems. (District of Kent)

The initial proposal only had half the ground covered with the rubberized surface, which would make part of the playground less accessible for people in wheelchairs. Council decided to increase the budget by $20,000 to put the rubber ground across the entire play area.

The rubber surface will incorporate railway and agricultural designs, but it’s not clear exactly what that will look like.

The project is covered by $121,091 in grants. The district will pay $16,731 through the development cost charge neighbourhood park allocation funds, and the remainder will come from the district’s capital funds.

The district said it’s hoping to have the new playground open by the beginning of June.

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