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Accessible Stadacona Park playground will have in-ground trampoline

The new playground is expected to be finished by early September
Construction has started on a new accessible playground in Stadacona Park to be completed by fall. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

Work has begun on a new accessible playground in Stadacona Park, complete with the City of Victoria’s first in-ground trampoline and wheelchair-accessible swing.

Council approved $600,000 for new playground equipment at the park last March, then added another $125,000 for the swing.

The new playground, expected to be finished by early September, replaces a playground built in 1995.

The equipment is being installed in the southern portion of the park, outside a designated environmentally sensitive area with Douglas fir and other trees and plants.

Accessible components include a ramp leading to a tower feature and another accessible swing option, as well as spinning and interactive devices at ground level, said Derrick Newman, the city’s assistant director for parks and open spaces.

All of the surfacing will have rubberized coating, he said, and signs will be posted in text, pictographs and braille.

The park has frequently been used by homeless campers in recent years. Newman said the city undertook extensive outreach over the past few months to both the neighbours and individuals within the park.

“The project is running smoothly,” he said. “We see that as a big success.”

He said the city also talked to children at summer camps “to hear what they wanted to have included in the park.”

There are still a few tents in the area, but bylaw officers are out enforcing rules against sheltering in parks from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Newman said.

Last October, council was presented with a 1,260-name petition calling for Stadacona Park to be added to the list of parks prohibited for sheltering.

Other playgrounds in the city that are top priorities for refurbishment include those in Irving Park and Pemberton Park, said Newman, adding accessibility will be considered in all playground upgrades.

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