With a new Radley Beach playground structure about to swing into place, the Village of Burns Lake is sliding the old apparatus over to another location.
Based on an application process that drew out a leading candidate – a group based in Topley that proposed putting the Radley Beach collection of play items alongside their community hall – mayor and council voted to sell the assembly to that community just down the road to the west. The agreed-upon price was $10,000 plus help with the shipping and handling.
“We will assist in getting it out of the ground, but then they will move it,” said Lewis Jones, director of recreation services for the Village of Burns Lake. “They are a pretty excited, passionate community group.”
When the old equipment is removed, the new equipment will go into place soon after. Jones said the feedback obtained through consultation at the recent trade show suggested the public wanted swings and slides as primary features of any new playground area, and half of those polled said accessibility considerations were their hope, so allow as many people as possible to recreate there.
A design was presented to mayor and council, with a cautionary side-story. Jones said the most accessible ground covering used in playgrounds today was a rubber material that poured into place and congealed, leaving a tough, slightly pliable playing surface. However, that would cost about $200,000, which would force the down-scaling of the playground structure itself. Jones suggested a different material made of wood fiber.
“There are annual grants from Kal Tire and Tire Stewardship BC so if we wanted to next year or two years down the road, anytime, we could add that as a phase two. The wood fibre does meet standards for accessibility, it just isn’t the premium product. There are funds available, just not right now. It’s not off the table.”
Councillor Darrell Hill asked about the swings, noting that the public asked for that “and there are only two swings (in this design). Shouldn’t there be a couple of extra swings added on the side?”
“There is potential for that,” said Jones. “It has the two, plus the saucer swing. Often the saucer swing will have multiple kids there, so the thought is that’s addressing those play options, and the option remains open, now or down the road, to add extra swings, or if we find the saucer swing isn’t working, we can swap it out.”
The designed was approved by unanimous vote.