The Right to Play!
Variety Alberta is upgrading Variety Park to provide better and updated inclusive play features and equipment to improve play value and provide an engaging and interactive play experience for children of all abilities. Our goal is to ensure that all children with specialized needs can be active participants within their communities and are not restricted from play or participation.
Built in 2002, Variety Alberta raised $1.4 million dollars to build Calgary’s first accessible spray park and playground. After fifteen years, the park has over 70,000 visitors in any given summer making it Calgary’s busiest playground.
This park includes wheelchair and mobility accessible spaces:
- Rubberized safety surface (rather than conventional pea gravel) to allow for easy rolling of wheelchairs and other assistive devices;
- Ramp equipment on the playground;
- Wide play structure to allow for mobility support devices; and
- A recently updated water spray park that features flat cement surfacing and no curbs.
Developments in inclusive playground equipment has grown tremendously since then and awareness of other disabilities and equipment to match these (mobility, sensory and learning challenges) have been developed.
The park expansion will occur in stages based on funds received:
Phase 1: Will include adding accessible and inclusive play equipment that will increase tactile development, sensory development, mobility access and equipment that will encourage exploration and discovery. Phase one feature accessible play and climbing structures, sliding features, a sensory rich play area and musical walk, as well as quiet spaces for individuals to unwind or desensitize.
Phase 2: Will include climbing and spinning structures, connectivity added to the park through additional pathways, gathering spaces with various educational activities to improve children's cognitive and sensory skills.
Phase 3: We will expand the park to include a "Nature based" playground for balance and agility, creativity and constructive play.
Phase 4: We will completely replace and upgrade the current playground (that was built in 2002) and add an outdoor creative play stage for imaginative play.
*To learn more about our organization and our plans to expand Variety Park, please visit www.varietyalberta.ca.
**To see the preliminary park plans, please visit our website link at http://varietyalberta.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Variety-Park-Enhancement-Initiative-Prelim-Concept-Plan-V2-1.png