Accessible playground at Carberry Park to replace closed Erin Lion’s Park by summer

ERIN – Carberry Park is expected to be the home of a new playground by summertime.

Council approved a “sole-source” contract with Alberta-based Blue Imp for $153,327 at its March 28 meeting.

Another $21,000 was also approved for site preparation, paving and a walkway related to the park.

The new equipment is intended to replace Erin Lion’s Park, which was closed in February for developers working on the town’s wastewater treatment plant system.

Erin Lion’s Park closed Photo by Jordan Snobelen


Councillor Jamie Cheyne said “the citizens have spoken” and he lauded staff efforts to find an alternative after the forced closure of the lone town-owned playground in Erin.

“There was no way we could keep a live playground in place … there was no choice on our part,” said Fire Chief Jim Sawkins, who was also the town’s interim CAO at the time.

Much to councillor John Brennan’s relief, Sawkins said developers will be “on the hook” for the cost of the new equipment.

The playground’s cost will be included in wastewater and pump house projects.

The additional $21,000 for site work will be withdrawn from one of the town’s development charge reserves, with town staff expected to do the work.

Less than $1,000 will also need to be spent on benches and bike racks, parks and recreation manager Dee-Enna Dube said.

With the park’s light grey, sage green, and tan colour scheme, councillor Cathy Aylard said the park will blend in well with the surrounding area.

Carberry Park in Erin. Photo by Tristan Clark


Councillor Bridget Ryan was concerned about the cost of the park, and suggested getting more pricing options.

Dube said Blue Imp’s pricing fell in the mid-range of three quotes she sought out.

According to Dube, most playground designs have a single accessibility ramp, creating a disconnect from other areas.

She chose the Blue Imp design because it includes several ramps, one of which leads to one of the three slides included in a design.

If the town waited to get more options, the park wouldn’t open until the fall, she explained.

Because of the project’s urgency, the town is bypassing its standard competitive bidding and procurement process for the work.

Playground construction and installation is expected to begin next month; it will be Erin’s first with several barrier-free amenities.