With primary students moving into the former halls of the city’s high school this fall, plans for a playground for students to play in are also coalescing.
Towards that end, Caley Mulholland stepped forward as the spokesperson of a community group looking to place a “natural” playground in Jubilee Park near the school.
She presented the desires of a group of parents to city council Monday night and the inspiration for a plan to build a natural playground at the school site, over stages in the next few years.
It was the first glimpse of the idea for council, but Mulholland asked council to consider supporting the idea in principle at a coming meeting, and then contribute some municipal might and expertise to the project to help create a pilot project site possibly even this fall.
At the outset, however, Mayor Greg Granstrom said the project of a natural playground was an insurance risk to the city.
“I think there is some value in this but I think the thing the city has to look at in this is the risk involved,” he said.
Natural playgrounds blend natural materials, features and indigenous vegetation with creative landforms to create a complex series of natural, environmental objects that challenge and fascinate children and teach them about the natural world while they play within it.
The aspects of a natural playground include earth shapes, environmental art, local vegetation—including trees, shrubs, grass, flowers and lichens or moss—boulders and rock structures and dirt and sand.
The playground could also include natural fences, such as one made of stone, willows or out of wood, with a pathway and natural water features.