Willow Park inclusive playground secures $150,000 in grant funding

Monday, May 6, 2024

The City of Leduc has secured $150,000 in grant funding for the future inclusive playground in Willow Park, which will allow three additional components to be installed during construction: accessible seating, a coreboard communication panel for non-verbal users, and a wheelchair accessible swing. 

The funding was secured through a partnership with the Kinsmen Club of Leduc and is being provided by the Government of Alberta ($125,000) and the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Capital Program ($25,000). It will top up the original project budget of $500,000, which will be used for the playground equipment, rubber surfacing and to address site drainage. 

Findings from Leduc's inclusive playground public engagement conducted in March 2024 showed residents were most in favour of including accessible picnic tables, circle tree well benches, naturalization plantings, and basketball courts. 

In total, 586 people provided input into what would be included in the playground: 

  • Most respondents would like to see a circle tree well bench (39%) and wheelchair accessible picnic tables (21%) installed next to the play space.
  • Most respondents would like to see a basketball court (25%) and a ball hockey court (23%) installed in the play space. 
  • Most respondents would like to see smooth play (27%) and textured play (25%) installed as sensory play inclusions. Smooth play refers to smooth surface materials with no dips, ridges, or projections. Examples include mirrors, poles, and slides. Textured play refers to materials that have projections and irregularities. Examples include rocks, rope, textured plastics, and plastic cutouts.  
  • Most respondents would like to see gliding/swinging play (40%) and climbing play (34%) installed as physical play components. 
  • Most respondents would like to see cooperative play (36%) and parallel play (24%) included in social play construction. Cooperative play equipment allows children to play together on the same equipment, taking turns, negotiating and continuing to change rules throughout their play time. Examples include ladders, multi-person gliders, rockers, and spinners. Parallel play equipment allows for side-by-side independent play and promotes associative and cooperative play opportunities. Examples include elevated play structures with components close to each other.  

Construction on the new inclusive playground is expected to begin in early summer 2024 and be completed this fall.