This spring, children here will have a new place to play thanks to a joint venture between MacPherson Builders and the Township of Centre Wellington.
The builder began construction of Centre Wellington’s newest accessible playground with the first phase of its Strathlea subdivision development centered around Strathlea Community Park.
Strathlea Park was possible through collaboration between MacPherson Builders, which donated the two acre park site to the municipality and provided necessary landscaping, servicing and $50,000 toward the purchase of playground equipment, and the township, which is covering the remaining equipment costs.
“When MacPherson Builders contacted us and said they’d be interested in doing something above and beyond a regular playground, we were able to move it to the standard of making it totally accessible,” said Centre Wellington Managing Director of Community Services Brian Detzler.
The park is the fourth accessible playground in the township. The initiative to establish fully accessible play structures came from the community and a local group called Power of Play. The park was supplied by PlayPower Canada and features playground equipment with a combination of traditional and contemporary play areas for children aged 18 months to 12 years. The playground has a large climber with overhead elements and a net for children 5 to 12 years old, while younger children under 5 can enjoy a small playhouse and a two-seater bumble bee spring toy that allows the child and caregiver to play together.
Barriers for children with challenges have been eliminated allowing them to utilize pieces of park equipment with minimal assistance. Playground features include a transfer station to allow access to the main play structure and a special swing seat, and children with restricted mobility can enjoy ground level play activities such as a storefront play counter, a free standing music station and a game table featuring a checkerboard. The playground will also include a rubberized surface to make the park as safe as possible. The playground equipment was fully installed in the fall and the play surface will be added by Ure-tech Surfaces Inc. as soon as the frost is out of the ground.
“We wanted Strathlea Community Park to be first class in terms of the quality of workmanship… not unlike the surrounding homes,” said MacPherson Builders president Russell Higgins.
Local community group Power of Play was involved. Andy Speers said, “These projects don’t come together on their own. It needs a massive amount of community spirit. Without companies like Macpherson Builders and other organizations and individuals within the area, these parks don’t happen.”