HIGH RIVER, AB: The Town of High River is moving forward with the construction of an innovative natural playground in Birchwood Park this fall. It will be the first of its kind in the area and will focus on encouraging children to use imaginative and open-ended play.
“Connecting kids to nature, in part by the use of natural playgrounds, has far reaching benefits,” said Kim Unger, parks remediation and recovery lead for the Town. “Natural playgrounds have been shown to encourage healthy social interactions, creative play and reduce stress.”
Construction on the new playground will begin in October and be completed throughout the fall.
Natural playgrounds provide a means for active play, while also allowing children to create their own play experience through the use of playground features and their imaginations.
The playground will incorporate small hills and embankments along with logs, boulders, and sideways tree play structures to allow for open-ended play. There will also be several log tables with stump seats, as well as an embankment slide and tunnel.
Traditional safety standards will be maintained and, whenever possible, natural materials will be used in the construction.
This project has been made possible thanks to a grant from The Calgary Foundation. The original equipment at Birchwood Park was damaged beyond repair in the 2013 flood.