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New school year with more fun

New Playground at Rossland summit School
Landscape structure

Sarah fox

Rossland News

A new playground designed for kids in Kindergarten to Grade 5 will be underway at RSS when they go back to school.  The playground is a model from Habitat Systems Inc. and was chosen by the Parent Advisory Council (PAC).

The existing playground at RSS was built with an older age group in mind.  Now that the school hosts Kindergarten to Grade 9, the school needs a more suitable outdoor play space for the younger children.

Co-chair of PAC, Kari Kuznecov expressed her concern for the children who seem to be a little lost at recess time.  A parent herself she discloses, “It broke my heart.”

The playground received 50,000 dollars from School District 20’s allocation money after Maclean’s Elementary School closed, and 10,000 dollars from the District’s Annual Facility Grant.  The project earned the Tire Stewardship grant and received donations made by members of PAC.  Other contributors included Nelson and District Credit Union and Teck.  PAC is close to reaching their goal but is looking for more for sponsorship.

Although Maclean’s Elementary already has its own playground, the amount of labour and money it would have taken to uproot the playground would have compromised the structure, as it is concreted into the ground.  Building a new one was a more suitable option.

PAC chose the playground from Habitat Landscape Structures because of their exceptional quality.  The structure is guaranteed to last 100 years and is mostly made of cast aluminum, which if scratched will not rust.

“We could have gone cheaper, but we chose to go with the superior product,” said Kuznecov.

Habitat Systems Inc. focuses on keeping children active with a sustainable, environmental product.  The company has pledged to plant trees around the world to offset the carbon produced in manufacturing their playgrounds.

The construction of the playground will proceed when school reconvenes.  Kuznecov explains, “There is so much needed to be done inside the school when the students aren’t there.”

Kuznecov estimates that the playground will take a month to build.

PAC has other plans in the works to develop Jubilee Field.  This will take more time, as the property is owned by the city and will have to go through council.  The Greening Committee is planning and fundraising to green some of the Jubilee Park playground. With support from city staff and community volunteers, PAC hopes to build a small rock amphitheatre and add trees on the east side of Jubilee Field.

The purpose of the project is to add natural elements and benefits like shade, cleaner air, environmental education opportunities and a place for spectators to gather at field events.

Over the summer, the city planted trees PAC supplied them.

“We really appreciated the city planting the trees that PAC provided.  They did a really good job,” Kuznecov commented.

The Green Committee is planning a community build and work party, where Rossland residents will be invited to help plant trees.  The date will be decided once the project details are finalized and approved by the city.