Waterfront playground wins reno grant

By Kimberly Spice —



Little Norway Park has received $100,000 through a government funding grant for upgrades to the children’s play area under the condition that the upgrades must be completed by March 2011 or the money returned.

The announcement was made by the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association (BQNA) at a community meeting Nov. 24.

“The project has to be designed, constructed, completed and paid for by March 2011,” said Peter Didiano of the city’s parks, forestry and recreation office to more than 40 curious neighbours at the Harbourfront Community Centre.

Swings and the wooden climbing structures that do not meet safety guidelines will be removed and replaced with new approved play equipment for children 18 months to 12 years of age.

Wooden mulch will act as a safety shock absorber around the equipment and its use will also allow for wheelchair accessibility enable physically challenged youngsters access to additional modified play equipment.

One concern from residents was the possibility of dangerous items such as broken glass becoming embedded under the mulch. There are no means for the mulch to be raked so park operations staff will do visual inspections to weed out harmful materials hurtful to youngsters.

Area residents were quick to inquire about the status of the wading pool and the areas iconic concrete lion structure. Didiano alleviated concerns telling residents that the wading pool and lion will remain.

Park archives will be reviewed by Adam Vaughan’s office after one resident mentioned the park previously housed a sense garden for the visually impaired as well as uniquely designed structures for the physically challenged to do exercises.

A steering committee was formed to look at the various park equipment designs as well as conserving and upgrading existing structures around the park such as the small amphitheatre used for story telling. Area children  will be consulted about playground design.