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ACF14955

Vera M. Welsh & community of Lac La Biche needs a new playground

  • Submitted by:

    Jennifer Okrainec

    Organization:

    Lac La Biche Active Kids Society (formerly Vera M. Welsh School Fundraising Society)

    Location:

    Lac La Biche, AB

  • Idea Created:

    October 8, 2012

    Community Size:

    100,000

Overview:

The Vera M. Welsh school playground is over 25 years old and is slated for removal ( by July 2014, but could be removed sooner) due to its age and condition9currently has exposed concrete pilings, rusty slides and bars, sharp edges, slivered wood posts, unsafe railing gaps- not to provincial playground code standards, see photos below). It is a vital playground for children for ages 3 and up in our community and our school. We would like to have a playground accessible by children with disabilities allowing them to be active side by side with able bodied children. There is presently no public playground for children with disabilities (Wheel Chair access or development needs) or a playground designed for young children's (3-5) needs in the Lac La Biche region. With this goal our costs have increased.As the playground is part of the overall Lac La Biche Community, this is really a community project. Our Playground is used by Vera M Weslh Students, community members, county residents and tourists to our area.The Lac La Biche Active Kids society is the group spearheading this project, from the planning stage, fundraising through to completion. We are a group comprised of parents, school staff, community members and representatives from various local organizations. Our mission is: Working as a community to provide children safe opportunities to play in order to develop healthy and active lifestyles. Every child needs a place to play! We need to get and keep kids active in our community! The Lac La BIche Active Kids Society is planning to operate as a long term society in the community that will help with planning and coordinating projects in the community that provide opportunities (equipment, events, etc.) for kids to be active in our community. Healthy active kids, healthy future!Our town has an immediate population of Approximately 3000 people and about 10000 in the Lac La Biche County, in the surrounding area, that use and support our town facilities. We are located 2.5hr drive from any major city center thus limiting access to equipment for all kids and especially children with disabilities. There is currently no playground that is accessible by children with disabilities. The closest is 2.5hrs away!The Playground is designed with an aboriinal theme, in order to honour these cultures and educate children. 55% of Vera M Welsh students are aboriginal, there for we thought it was important to use this theme! Based on some recent Early Child Hood Mapping  Information for our Community (ECD Community Information Report #1, Spring 2012) it indicates that 41.95% of children in Lac La Biche (for 2-4yr) experience some difficulty with physical health and well being compared to the Alberta Provincial average of 22.93%. This just helps demonstrate the need for a new playground facility for all ages and abilities in our community. Yes a New Playground does Cost over $150,000 dollars!  Just the cost of our playground equipment with swings, to be installed by volunteers is $162,546 and that does not including the base or base prep work.a Poured in place surfacing for all playground including swings is $182,572.00 (which would allow for wheel chair accessibilty), a bare minimum base of woodchips and concrete edging ( does not allow for wheel chair access) would cost$ $34,279.00.Minimum amount needed is $196,825.00 (non accessible surfacing)Total cost for the playground with volunteer installation, rubber surfacing for accessibility: $326,784.50 It is a lot of money for local volunteer parents and community members to raise on their own. The Alberta Government does not fund playgrounds as part of school infrastructure. all money is raised outside of the school. Playgrounds are long term community facilities ( ours lasted over 25 years) for ages 3 and up ( kids right to the grandparents that take their grandkids to use them). Its not limited to one age group! We know it can be done but programs like this AVIVA Community Fund, help it become achievable sooner and help dreams become reality. So please consider our project and help us build a new playground for our children and future generations to enable them to be active and live healthy active lives! Check out our website: www.weNeedAplayground.com