There have been some accessibility improvements made to Rotary Friendship Park, the nautically themed playground on Sechelt’s waterfront, but the bulk of improvements won’t happen until the new year.
The District of Sechelt received two grants totalling about $36,000 to install a rubberized ground cover at the popular park, which currently has patches of rubberized surface surrounded by pea gravel.
District of Sechelt crews got to work last month, removing driftwood from around the park and installing a cement walkway around the site to prepare it.
The next phase, installing the rubberized ground cover, will have to wait until the new year, however, when Sechelt crews are less busy and able to devote more time to the effort.
Currently parks staff are busy with other trail network projects.
“We’re a small team spread far apart,” noted Perry Schmitt, parks supervisor for the District of Sechelt.
He said he hopes the new ground cover will be installed in January or February, but said the effort is also weather dependent.
“But nothing’s critical at this point, the park’s fully opened again. And now that we’ve got the surround in and the pathways tied in, it’s nice and safe,” he said.
He said once his crew took away the driftwood from Rotary Friendship Park that was “very slippery and starting to rot and fall apart” the larger space made way for another improvement.
“I brought my guy from Henderson Playgrounds over to the Coast and we looked at what we could fit in there,” Schmitt said. “So we’re going to fit in four new pieces of equipment. Two are saucer toys, which are fully accessible, and another one’s a talk tube similar to what we have at Piccadilly, and the next one’s a periscope that we’re going to be putting in. Now what’s really cool about all of these is that they are all fully accessible, which is the goal for that park.”
Rotary Friendship Park was built by the Rotary Club of the Sunshine Coast-Sechelt in 2007. At the time they wanted to make the entire playground accessible, but the cost was too great.
Rotarians are pleased to see the District continuing to develop and improve the park.
“I think it’s fantastic that it can get finished off,” noted Clark Hamilton, one of the Rotarians instrumental in the park’s construction.