Community Health

Funding level: $50,000 to $100,000


We are small but strong, tiny but proud and building a community for our next generation. The long term health and sustainability of rural communities in Alberta hinges on keeping the people living in and engaged in those communities. Our project goal is to better meet the needs of our entire community and make Bawlf a sustainable rural community in Alberta. There are benefits to rural residents having their children stay in their rural community for their education and recreation activities. All of these build a sustainable future for our rural population. We know given that and our vicinity to the larger centers, we need to be able to attract and KEEP young families, adults and seniors in our community. Rural communities offer so much to their residents. Our students attend the same school kindergarten through graduation and for some it is the same school as their parents and grandparents attended. These roots are unique, they are important, they keep families together and provide history and texture to our community. Our rural population is not what it was with less than 2% of the entire Canadian population actively engaged in farming. We want to be able to educate and keep our youth and families in their home community. We have created a unique community partnership with all of our organizations who also see the benefit to keeping our rural students and families rural!! Alberta Health Services conducted a pilot program with the Village of Bawlf as part of their "Alberta Prevents Cancer" initiative. All the community NGO's, the school and the Village were involved in round table discussions and an assessment to identify ways to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce cancer risk. This identified that Bawlf was lacking in exercise options for all ages and public shade spaces for UV protection. To address this we proposed to construct a covered outdoor gym in the community sport park, and a playground with adjacent UV protection for the School.
1. Outdoor Gym with covered structure for shade and protection from UV Rays
The outdoor gym in the community sports park which could be used by all members of the community as well the school for physical education classes. The outdoor gym will consist of a 24 ft. by 50 ft. structure with 40 inch pony walls. Eight pieces of outdoor gym equipment will be located in half of the structure with the remaining area left open to provide a shaded flex area for different activities. The outdoor gym and shade structure is located in the Village sports park adjacent to the walking trail, ball diamonds and camp grounds. By locating this facility here it will provide an exercise option for adults as well as a covered free space to accommodate various community events. This facility will enhance the existing sports park in that it will now provide recreation and physical activities for all ages and address the need for UV protection for our outdoor structures. It will allow the park to become the focus of community activities and encourage multi-generational use of the park
2. Shade Structure and Playground
The current playground at our school no longer meets safety requirements and it is up to the community to provide the funds to replace this structure. This currently leaves the school and community with less than half of the required playground space for the number of children and no shade structure near it. Playground space was identified as a gap in the community. These structures are open to community use as well as school use making them multipurpose and used daily throughout the year. With this daily use, the proposed shade structure will protect our youth and the adults that supervise them from UV rays. UV exposure was identified as a high risk in our rural community and the Alberta Health Services community survey showed were are short of shade structures and need to better educate our youth about the risks of UV exposure.

Broker supported

Bawlf Educational Support Team Foundation (BEST Foundation)

Location: Bawlf