New Hamburg Playground is a Place for Everyone to Play
New Hamburg’s Optimist Youth Park has a new colourful, engaging and accessible playground space, thanks to the Canada Community-Building Fund.
The Township of Wilmot invested $88,000 from the fund into upgrades at the park, including a play structure and ground-level interactive equipment. The town also installed new climbers, swings and slides, musical instruments, activity panels, spinners and spring riders and an accessible swing.
Project coordinator Amber Schenck explained the Township wanted the park to be a more useable space for everyone. With that in mind, staff looked at how the park could be more accessible to children, caregivers and parents.
The park hadn’t been upgraded since 2002, and included a raised border and a pea stone surface, making it challenging for strollers and wheelchairs to access the park. Staff replaced the entire surface with engineered wood fibre to improve accessibility.
Schenck said it was also a priority to make the play area more inclusive. Not all children are able to climb and some have an aversion to climbing vertical equipment, she said. The new ground-level interactive panels and spring riders allows for all children to play at the park, regardless of age, ability or preference. This makes it easier for parents and caregivers to bring multiple children to the park, since the activities are appropriate for everyone.
Lastly, staff chose vibrant colours for the structure to make the park inviting and engaging for visitors.
The playground officially opened in May and has been busy ever since. Being one of the biggest parks in New Hamburg, the upgrades and rehabilitation of Optimist Youth Park was much appreciated by the community.