Carnarvon Elementary School Parent Advisory Council has launched the Carnarvon Play for EveryBody campaign - an initiative to build a universally inclusive playground on Vancouver's westside.
The 3400 sq.ft. playground will be situated on Vancouver School board property, directly adjacent to Carnarvon Park (a City of Vancouver sports park) and be fully open to the public.
"The location is ideal," says Gordon Hopper, Co-Chair of the Carnarvon Play for EveryBody Campaign. "The school grounds and the park are very busy year round which allows us to reach a wide swath of the community population."
To make their playground dream come true, the campaign has already received significant community support including a grant of $23,400 from the Tire Stewardship of British Columbia - a not-for-profit society established to manage BC Tire Recycling Program.
The campaign has also recently received donations from Realtor David Richardson for $5000 and from Choices Market for an additional $7500.
The playground will be the first of its kind in Vancouer and, as such, is garnering a great deal of attention. It has earned the official support of several community advocates for accessibility, sport and education including The Rick Hansen Foundation, BC Wheelchair Sports, GF Strong Rehabilitation Hospital, Vancouver United Football Club and the Vancouver School Board.
"Regardless of the mobility challenge - a broken limb, hip replacement, arthritis, pushing a stroller or maneuvering a wheelchair. The aim of a universally inclusive design is to make the park accessible while offering challenging play. It's about including everybody in an active lifestyle, regardless of ability. Eighty percent of the space and equipment is accessible, which we are very proud of, " says Brittanny Downey-MacDonald, Co-Chair, Carnarvon Play for EveryBody campaign.
Fundraising continues with the project now reaching 80% of its $135,000 goal.
"It's only been a few months, but the community has shown a lot of support," says Hopper. "We hope to have the funds in place to break ground within the next 2 months. We are actively seeking community donors, sponsors and partners. We encourage anyone interested in getting involved to reach out."