Calgary is getting 10 new playgrounds across the city this summer, and they’ll all be inclusive.
“Having well-designed, free public spaces in communities makes a city vibrant, reduces crime and contributes to a better quality of life for all citizens,” reads the City of Calgary website. “Playgrounds are one of these spaces that enable children to come together and learn from each other.”
By designing playgrounds that children and parents of all abilities can use, the city is creating opportunities for even more people to enjoy free outdoor activities.
With Municipal Stimulus Program funds from the province, the City of Calgary was able to fast-track these projects, and construction has already begun on several parks, with all of them slated to open this year.
Four of the playgrounds are being built in partnership with Parks Foundation Calgary.
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The inclusive playgrounds will support the needs of a person with limitations, while also providing physically engaging activities. These parks will include both active and quiet play areas.
“Designed to challenge children of all abilities, inclusive playgrounds are meant to be engaging, fun spaces where people can interact,” says the City of Calgary website.
The website notes that, for a playground to be inclusive, it should be a space that any child or parent can enjoy, regardless of their ability, needs, age, gender, culture, or race.
According to Parks Foundation Calgary, playground areas will offer many levels of sensory, cognitive, and auditory rich experiences.
“An inclusive playground is designed for equitable participation that would support the needs of a person with mobility limitations but might also cater to the needs of a child who is visually impaired or living with Autism,” reads Parks Foundation Calgary’s website.
Features that Calgarians may find at these parks include gathering spaces with accessible tables, benches, shelters, and barbecues, ramp access that goes right up to the highest deck of play structures, coloured pathways that create a visual safe zone and a fun track for children to enjoy, and a climbing structure that provides an increased challenge of play.
The locations of Calgary’s new, inclusive playgrounds are as follows.
- Edworthy Inclusive Playground – 5050 Spruce Drive SW
- Elliston Inclusive Playground – 17th Avenue SE and 68th Street SE
- Hidden Hut Inclusive Playground – 10504 Hidden Valley Drive NW
- North Glenmore Inclusive Playground – 7305 Crowchild Trail SW
- Ramsay Inclusive Playground – Macdonald Avenue SE and Bellevue Avenue SE
- Sandy Beach Inclusive Playground – 4500 14A Street SW
- Somerset Inclusive Playground – Somerset Square SW
- South Glenmore/Variety Inclusive Playground – 90th Avenue and 24th Street SW
- Ted Harrison Inclusive Playground – Taralake Way NE and Taradale Drive NE
- VIVO Inclusive Playground – Country Village Road NE and Country Village Way NE
Locations for the new playgrounds were chosen based on the space required to build an inclusive playground, parking accessibility, and proximity to public washrooms where possible.