Accessing a northern British Columbia playground just got easier for people with disabilities, with the installation of BC Parks’ first universally accessible playground at Purden Lake Provincial Park.
“I am delighted by the new opportunities this playground will provide families and citizens of all abilities visiting the park,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Building a better B.C. for people of all abilities is a priority for our government, and we’re committed to fostering opportunities for those with accessibility impairments, so they can explore and enjoy our spectacular natural spaces.”
BC Parks teamed up with Spinal Cord Injury BC to help develop the $250,000 playground, which was designed and installed by Habitat Systems Inc. Located in the middle-of-the-park campground, the playground features a rubber surface and wheelchair-accessible ramps taking users to a unique piece of equipment that allows them the chance to experience various movements, like swinging.
Purden Lake was selected for the project because the old playground needed to be replaced, and the park is heavily used by area residents. BC Parks continues to explore opportunities that will make playgrounds in other provincial parks more accessible.
“Spinal Cord Injury BC regularly gets calls from community members and tourists looking for accessible outdoor recreation options, and we are pleased to have another facility to add to our list,” said Chris McBride, executive director of Spinal Cord Injury BC. “Whether the person with a disability is a child, a parent, a grandparent or anyone else, the addition of a playground with accessibility features gives everyone a chance to play together in our beautiful outdoors.”
A celebration to mark the grand opening of the new playground will be held at Purden Lake Provincial Park on Saturday, June 16, 2018, from 10 a.m. to noon.