The reasoning behind the decision by the Boffins at the Vancouver Board of Park and Recreation is murky but the reaction of local parents to the decision to relocate the playground at Kits Beach Park is clear, and it’s not favourable.
Along with a refurbishment of the playground at Kits Beach Park and the inclusion of equipment making it “a world class, accessible playground designed to enable all children, including children with disabilities, to play side-by-side with their siblings, friends and families, including caregivers with disabilities” the Parks Board has decided that parents and kids are better off a little closer to the action at Kits Beach, right up against the side of the building housing Watermark.
The playground’s current location further north, a safe and (relatively) quiet spot with plenty of shade, removed from the crowds at Kits Beach Park (either one of the “10 Sexiest Beaches in North America,” Forbes Magazine or “the most notorious summer party/pick-up spot” according to a letter to the editor in last week’s Courier) and a truly pleasant and safe place to spend time is well liked, has plenty of options for improved access by special needs children and their families. The proposed location gives those families little choice but to fight it out amongst the summer crowds in the main parking lot several hundred feet away, making it a non-starter for many families. It also places the children within feet of the loading zone and garbage bins at Watermark and the dangerous intersection at Arbutus and Creelman not to mention the crowds that make Kits Beach a great summertime happening but aren’t what parents look for in a safe playground environment.
The Parks Board conducted a “public consultation” of sorts though it was advertised as regarding a refurbishment of the existing playground, a well supported idea, and meetings were held in the dark of winter. 13 people attended and left written responses. The Parks Board Commissioners were subsequently told that the proposed move was “well supported.”
Those wishing to let the Parks Board and several donors involved know how they feel about this and hopefully stimulate a more thoughtful look at the decision can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and receive an auto-reply with more information as well as email addressed for all involved.
Last modified: May 5, 2010