Sechelt’s Rotary Friendship Park was officially reopened on April 16 after undergoing some accessibility improvements, which had the park cordoned off for about a month.
The improvements at the park, located at the end of Wharf Avenue near the seawall, include a fully rubberized ground cover complete with a hopscotch pattern and seaside colours, new talking tubes, a braille alphabet board with a secret message to decode, a stand-up spinner and a periscope. The District of Sechelt pitched in about $6,500 for the new play equipment while Kal Tire and Tire Stewardship BC shared the $36,000 bill for the rubberized ground cover.
The District received a grant from Tire Stewardship BC for half of the groundcover cost and Kal Tire paid the other half through their Six for Sixty fund.
Kal Tire turned 60 years old last year and the company decided to celebrate by funding six projects utilizing recycled rubber.
Sechelt’s project was one of the lucky few to be selected.
“I want to thank Joe and Rosalie Jacquot [of Kal Tire in Sechelt] in particular for their support of the community. I know you do so much more in the community, but this is a real testament and a real great piece of Sechelt now, so thank you,” said Mayor John Henderson during the reopening ceremony.
The new accessible groundcover at Rotary Friendship Park is made up of more than 18,000 pounds of recycled rubber.
Henderson also thanked the District’s parks staff for their hours of work to improve the playground.
The District of Sechelt took over responsibility for the playground after it was built by the Rotary Club of the Sunshine Coast–Sechelt.
“I would just like to commend the District of Sechelt and sponsors like Kal Tire for the improvements to the park that have gone on since we turned the park over,” said Rotary Club president Gerry Webb.
Chair of Sechelt’s accessibility advisory committee Bill Conway said he was thrilled with the new accessible playground, which holds a learning component.
“This is an educational park because you can learn a second language called braille,” Conway said, highlighting the braille alphabet board and secret message to decode.
The improved playground still boasts a pirate ship to play on, a slide, swings (including one accessible swing) and a three-part sea serpent to climb on.
© Coast Reporter