Multi-sensory playground open for all

The newest playground in the regional district arsenal has officially opened.

The Mission Creek Regional Park Playground, which opened to the public on the May long weekend, was officially dedicated by the Regional District of Central Okanagan Thursday afternoon.

Construction of the playground began a year ago after the regional board approved spending $150,000 on the project. The Orchard City Lions Club, which contributed the original playground equipment 25 years ago, donated $10,000 while Tire Stewardship BC kicked in a $15,000 grant for installation of the upgraded rubber safety surface that's made from recycled tires.

"This is a very special kind of playground," says Regional Board chair, Robert Hobson.

"It's accessible, it's a multi-sensory park for people of all types of abilities. You can see today a lot of people are enjoying it."

The new playground includes:

  • Separate play areas for children age two to five and six to 12
  • Prefabricated equipment that includes a rope climbing structure (Octanet), swings and spinner bowls
  • Sensory Wall
  • Sand Table
  • Log Balance and Sound Toys

Hobson says the playground and equipment reflects the latest safety standards.

The star attraction is the Octanet, a rope tree that towers several metres into the sky.

At least one parent wrote Castanet recently complaining the structure was unsafe and could lead to serious injury.

Parents we spoke with at the playground were not as concerned.

Jodie Gross who was at the playground with her five-year-old daughter Sadie, on Thursday, watched confidently as her daughter climbed to the top.

"I was quite nervous at first," stated Gross. "But, I am much more confident now."

Another parent says she has no concerns at all.

She felt if children didn't feel safe they would not climb it. Her five-year-old daughter climbed close to the top but she stated her older daughter would probably never have gotten on at that age.

The structure is designed to catch youngsters if they do happen to lose their balance.

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