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North Battleford starts construction on new natural playspace

A new North Battleford play structure will give kids a natural playing experience. Instead of traditional playground equipment like monkey bars, slides and swings, the natural playspace will feature play elements such as boulders, plants and wood.

On August 20th North Battleford began construction of the new outdoor play space for kids at Centennial Park. Parks Foreman Gordan Whitton says The City’s early childhood prevention program helped fund the project through grants.

“They formed a committee and raised $50,000 for it. It was their idea. The city matched them $50,000 and gave them a piece of property to do it.”

The structure is based on other natural play spaces in Canada, this will be the first of its kind in Saskatchewan. The playspace is to be completed for the grand opening on September 14th.

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“I’ve built a lot of play structures, I’ve never built anything like this. I can see now why it’s so expensive.” Whitton says the project costs more than usual playspaces due to the equipment needed.”There was a lot of heavy equipment involved, I had to supply them with a payloader, a backhoe and a skid steer. The material that is going in there is insane. We had to make sure it had drainage underneath.”

The structure in North Battleford will include an Oak Tree from Ontario for kids to climb and a Tipi that was requested by the committee.

“We’ve had to replace that existing play structure anyway, it didn’t comply with CSA standards anymore. It was kind of a win-win for both of us. We just hope the natural play structure lasts.”

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