Funding drive for West Side children’s park begins

A fundraising campaign to build a new playground for Bowen Island children kicks off this week after municipal council approved the lease and final land use details October 11th.

As the first ever children’s park on the West Side, the natural playscape is to be built on Windjammer Road near Captain’s Way as part of the King Edward Bay development, known as Arbutus Ridge.

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“In keeping with Bowen’s values, we’re creating an environmentally sensitive, natural play area to promote problem solving, child-directed play and community togetherness,” says Bowen Island resident Nick Mitchell, who spearheaded The Playscape Project with fellow committee members, Noah Pryce-Jones, Matt Redekopp, Kerry Watts and the Arbutus Ridge developers.

The public park is to include developmentally appropriate fun for children of all ages, including water tables, a mud kitchen, a low balance beam, a hill with a tunnel, a climbing structure, and even a giant wooden xylophone or marimba. In line with the committee’s mission to help children explore, create and connect in nature, there will also be rest areas with log benches for families to gather.

“This is great news!” says Ryan Hauschild, a father who lives in Bluewater. “That beats the parking lot at the new fire hall where most West Side families go for play dates.”

The land for The Playscape Project will ultimately be gifted to the municipality by Arbutus Ridge developers who have plans for a number of significant parkland dedications. But in the hopes of completing the park by autumn 2017, developers have offered to immediately lease the land to the municipality at no cost so park construction can begin
right away.

“We’re happy to help,” says Allard Ockeloen, land developer and resident, noting Bowen has a higher than average ratio of children under 15 in comparison to other BC communities and needs more amenities of this nature.

“The Arbutus Ridge project is committed to creating child-centric social impact through land development, and an environmentally sensitive children’s play park is a big part of that.”

With pre-fundraising donations of goods and services already totaling $20,000, the official campaign now aims to raise the additional $80,000 to complete the $100,000 project.

To donate and receive a tax receipt, contact the Bowen Island Municipality or drop in to the First Credit Union.

For more information, please contact committee chairperson Nick Mitchell at 778-987-6425.

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