Kids now have a new way to connect with nature. Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) held the official opening of the natural playground at Island Lake Conservation Area in Orangeville today. In attendance were representatives from the CVC Board of Directors, Credit Valley Conservation Foundation (CVCF), Friends of Island Lake (FOIL), Orangeville Lions Club and Rotary Club of Orangeville.
“We’re beyond excited to officially open the natural playground,” said Terri LeRoux, Senior Manger, Property, Assets, Recreation and Conservation Areas at CVC. “Time in nature is more important now than ever with all the stresses of the pandemic. This playground is an opportunity for kids to engage in unstructured, physically distanced play that encourages discovery and new experiences. We want to inspire nature appreciation for the next generation of park visitors.”
The natural playground features a 1.17-acre nature-inspired play area and incorporates natural elements like plants, water, logs, boulders and terrain to provide different sensory experiences and play opportunities. Built structures include a 15-metre-long climbing wall and two sideways climbing trees, as well as an obstacle course and outdoor musical instruments. The playground also features Indigenous design elements developed in consultation with the Credit River Métis Council.
In winter, the 2.5-metre-wide trail around the playground will be groomed and flooded for skating and skiing, offering new recreational opportunities for the community.
CVC began building the natural playground in August 2019. Funding was received from several partners including FOIL ($75,000), Orangeville Lion’s Club ($50,000), Rotary Club of Orangeville ($50,000) Dods & McNair Funeral Home ($10,000), Dufferin County ($4,000) and Jackman Foundation ($1,000). The project was led by FOIL in partnership with CVC and CVCF. The total cost of the playground was $220,000.
The natural playground will connect people to nature and provide recreational experiences and health benefits to park visitors, important principles defined under CVC’s Conservation Areas Master Strategy.
About Credit Valley Conservation
Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is a local conservation authority established by the Ontario government in 1954 to protect, restore and enhance the natural environment of the Credit River Watershed. Our watershed is defined by the area of land where all rainfall, snowmelt and runoff drains into lands and waters flowing into the Credit River. CVC creates connections between people and nature, knowledge and action. We inspire a deep appreciation for the role of nature in keeping people connected, healthy and happy. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario.
Caption: Official ribbon cutting of the natural playground at Island Lake Conservation Area
Left to right (front): Bob Shirley, Chair of FOIL; Karen Ras, Chair of CVC & CVCF Boards; Taunya Bailey, President of the Rotary Club of Orangeville.
Left to right (back): Sandy Brown, Mayor of Town of Orangeville; Kris McBride, President of Orangeville Lions Club; Grant Peters, Councillor for Town of Orangeville; Mike Walker, Orangeville Lions Club; Terri LeRoux, Senior Manager, PARCS for CVC & Executive Director for CVCF; Deborah Martin-Downs, CAO for CVC.
Caption: Climbing structure in the natural playground at Island Lake Conservation Area
Left to right: Mike Walker, Orangeville Lions; Shirley, Chair of FOIL; Karen Ras, Chair of CVC & CVCF Boards; Kris McBride, President of Orangeville Lions Club; Grant Peters, Councillor for Town of Orangeville (back); Terri LeRoux, Senior Manager, PARCS for CVC & Executive Director for CVCF; Sandy Brown, Mayor of Town of Orangeville; Deborah Martin-Downs, CAO for CVC (back); Taunya Bailey, President of the Rotary Club of Orangeville; Bill Lidster, Manger, Conservation Parks for CVC.
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Credit Valley Conservation