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New playground coming to Vernon elementary school

Okanagan Landing Elementary received $165K from the province for a new play facility
Vernon’s Okanagan Landing will receive $165,000 in provincial funding to build a safe and accessible playground, part of a $5 million provincial investment in the Playground Equipment Program in 2022. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

A Vernon elementary schools is one of 30 schools around the province that will receive $165,000 for new a playground.

Okanagan Landing Elementary will gain a new play facility from B.C.’s Playground Equipment Program. Now in its fifth year, the program is bringing safe and accessible playgrounds to 30 schools and more than 7,000 students.

“Outdoor play is so important in a child’s development. Not only does it help build healthy habits and relationships, but it allows a space for creativity and imagination to run free. An accessible and fun place to play is something every child deserves,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee.

“For too long, parents were left to fundraise for the play equipment their kids needed. We’re changing that by funding new school playgrounds like this one at Okanagan Landing Elementary, so that families can spend less time on fundraisers and more quality time together.”

The playgrounds will be designed, built and installed over the next year, the Ministry of Education and Childcare announced Friday, April 29.

“Taking a break from the classroom and getting time outside to play gives children the opportunity to explore through play-based learning,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education and Child Care. “We know having space for kids to play safely is important for families and that’s why our government is committed to supporting students with accessible new playgrounds for many years to come.”

The play structures will feature ground cover and ramps to ensure students of all abilities can play.

The B.C. government has invested $30 million in the Playground Equipment Program since it was created in 2018, serving more than 231 schools and 57,000 students.

In creating more outdoor play spaces, the goal is to encourage physical activity and promote healthy lifestyles while also encouraging children to share and develop conflict resolution skills, the ministry said.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started at the Morning Star as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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