In response to Vanessa Harrison’s letter to the editor about the new Generations Playground, I would like to address her concerns.
In our enthusiasm to get the playground open prior to the start of the new school year and the unofficial end of summer, the loose gravel pathways had yet to be steamrolled down making them compact enough for wheelchair access. This will be completed as soon as possible and will ensure those who use walkers, wheelchairs and strollers will be able to easily navigate the playground.
There are a number of wheelchair-accessible apparatus, from the Sensory Rocker and outdoor exercise equipment to the auditory chimes and multiple sensory stations for ground-level play. Unfortunately, we were unable to find a manufacturer of a suitable wheelchair swing to include that element.
When the planning for an all-abilities and all-ages playground first began, we held two community open houses to solicit feedback on the types of play structures people wanted to see, along with consultations with the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo for their input into the design and accessibility. Both physical and cognitive disabilities were taken into consideration and equipment was chosen to best serve the diverse abilities of our community.
The Playground Committee took the accessibility of this new play space seriously and will continue to make necessary adjustments to ensure it’s enjoyed by all.
Geoff Funke, Peace Arch Hospital Foundation board chair
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Thank you to all of those who contributed to make the special Generations Playground community park possible. It is truly fantastic and will be well-used by people of all abilities for many fun years to come.
Of notable absence from the launch of Generations Playground article was mention of a special contribution from Todd and Deborah Antifaev of $50,000. This generous community gift was noted in a recent Peace Arch Hospital Foundation circular mailed out to past PAHF donors, however, I believe a kind gift of this special nature is worth a specific mention.
Shawn Smith, Surrey