The West Sechelt Play-ground Enhancement Committee is closer than ever to its goal of building an accessible playground at West Sechelt Elementary School thanks to a $30,000 grant from Tire Stewardship B.C. (TSBC).
The grant was approved this month and the committee, which has been fundraising since 2010, now has more than $65,000 for their $100,000 playground project.
“We need to spend the $30,000 grant within a year so we’re actually hoping to put in place our play area in the time allotted for the grant,” said committee chair Sue Shinn. “So we will be working our butts off during the next year to make sure this happens.”
The committee has been holding various school and community fundraisers, raising on average $10,000 a year.
This year, however, the team will need to bring in $35,000 or their matching grant from TSBC will be lost.
“This is the time. We have to make this happen,” Shinn said.
Plans for the new playground include installing an accessible rubber surface under the existing playground and adding on to the playground with a clubhouse, accessible spinner wheel, sensory wall and stand up teeter totter.
The current playground is situated on top of gravel, making it unsafe for children in wheelchairs or walkers.
In the beginning it was the need for an accessible place for all students to play that started the playground enhancement project, and while that is still a priority today, Shinn explained another need has come to the committee’s attention.
The current playground is only able to serve about 100 students and the school has well over 200 students already enrolled, with more coming in September.
“So our playground desperately needs to be expanded to serve the students we have here,” Shinn said, adding the park is also used daily by children and families in the West Sechelt community.
The playground enhancement committee is planning some family-friendly fundraisers for the fall that they’ll be announcing soon, and Shinn encourages the community to keep up to date with their efforts online through the West Sechelt Playground Enhancement Committee Facebook page or www.westsechelt
Donations are always gratefully accepted online through the website.
For more information or to help with fundraising efforts, contact Shinn at 604-885-9391.