January 2017 Update
Back in January 2016 we posted on this website that 6 of our community playgrounds needed to be “life-cycled”; in other words, the equipment was getting old and nearing the end of its useful life. These sites had to be considered for equipment replacement, or a change of use (e.g. park area, basketball court, different age demographic, etc.). We set up a survey to ask about use of these playgrounds and three had an overwhelmingly greater response than the others: The highest response was for the playground at 178 Harvest Glen Way, and two playgrounds came in equal for 2nd place: 980 Coventry Drive and 152 Coventry Circle.
ONE DOWN, FIVE TO GO…
We put a call out for a playgrounds committee, to help us with looking at which playground to consider first, and what to replace it with. However, rather than lose out on the funding for replacing a playground this summer, and because the playground at 152 Coventry Circle was in the worst shape, it was chosen to be replaced like-for-like by the City Parks Dept, at a cost of around $75,000.
Since then, the playgrounds committee members have been working hard to come up with a plan for the revitalization of the playground at 178 Harvest Glen Way.
HARVEST GLEN WAY PLAYGROUND
Two volunteers, Victoria and Meghan, have put in countless hours of research, meeting with playground committee reps from other communities and playground equipment vendors, visiting playgrounds and outdoor recreational spaces all over the city, going to playground symposia and playground equipment fairs, and talking with play and recreation experts… all since late this summer… whew! They have also done a site line survey and applied for a Parks Foundation account, which is now active and can accept donations (see “How You Can Help”, below). This is awesome for the committee, as it means they can now start fundraising in earnest, and awesome for donors, too, as donations of $25 or more qualify for a tax receipt from the Parks Foundation!
In recognition of their efforts, and the part that free, outdoor recreational and green spaces play in a healthy community, the Board of the Northern Hills Community Association has budgeted $10,000 towards this community enhancement project. The first $5,000 was presented to the volunteers in November, to enable them to open the Parks Foundation account and start fundraising for the money needed to make their vision come to life in 2018.
THE PARKS FOUNDATION & OUR COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT PROJECT
The Parks Foundation Calgary has supported many volunteer-driven initiatives in communities around Calgary, partnering in the development of new (and renovations of) parks, playgrounds and open spaces. Like the NHCA, the Parks Foundation feel that all children deserve safe and fun places to play and to learn. Playgrounds offer an outdoor space to activate their imagination, be physically fit, and develop their social and motor skills.
We all recognize the need for more accessible and challenging play spaces in our communities, and in our Northern Hills communities in particular, the NHCA recognizes the desperate need for more free, outdoor, community, recreational spaces for residents of all ages – not just the ubiquitous, builder-installed tot lots. We need rinks, basketball courts, soccer and football fields, and natural, green spaces to have a picnic, fly a kite, engage in free play or to simply kick back and relax! This is why the NHCA Playgrounds Committee is looking at the Harvest Glen Way playground rebuild from a different perspective: this will be more than just a simple replacement of an old, community tot lot playground. We are planning something BIGGER and better: a community outdoor space that everyone can enjoy. This is a whole community enhancement project, not just a playground rebuild. Sure, it will have some playground equipment, but it will be targeted at the changing youth demographics (it’ll be much better than the “dumpster playground” the teens are currently using!) and suitable for children of all ages. It will also be a great place for residents of all ages with beautiful, natural spaces and features, a place for Northern Hills residents to gather and build community.
How You Can Help
If you would like to help these hardworking resident volunteers with their fundraising efforts by donating towards this fantastic community-led enhancement project, you can:
(a) Download and fill out the Parks Foundation donation form and mail it to the Parks Foundation. Please select “Other” on the form, which we have already filled in for you with the “Harvest Hills Playground (Harvest Glen Way)” project.
(b) Donate via Paypal using the link provided on the Parks Foundation’s website at: www.parksfdn.com/community-led-projects/ Please make sure you indicate which project you would like to support in the Instructions to Seller section by typing “Harvest Hills Playground (Harvest Glen Way)”.
Whichever way you choose, tax receipts will be issued by the Parks Foundation for all donations over $25!
Business Donations or Sponsorship
Please contact our Executive Director to discuss sponsorship options for our playground rebuild. Email Moraig at: email@example.com or call the NHCA Office and ask to be put in touch.
We need help both in the planning stages, and will need volunteers for the 2018 build itself. At the moment, Victoria and Meghan could always use your help with community surveys, fundraising and more. If you would like to help out by volunteering on the committee, please contact the Harvest Playgrounds Committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can help to start planning for the rejuvenation of another playground for 2018-2019 (we still have 4 more identified sites to look at: 2 in Coventry Hills, 1 in Country Hills, and 1 in Country Hills Village), please contact our Executive Director by email at: email@example.com