Nearly three years after they lost their swings and monkey bars, Interlakes youth have a new playground.
The Roe Lake & District Recreation Commission recently opened the first phase of its new $35,000 nature playground at the local Interlakes Community Centre. The playground, which includes the usual playground equipment such as monkey bars, slides and swings, is already drawing a crowd, said Maggie Benzing, program coordinator with the Interlakes Community Centre Association.
An official playground opening is slated for 11 a.m. on Oct. 10.
“Kids are playing every day and they love it,” she said. “That’s why we are eager to launch into phase two but we will have to do some more fundraising for that which is not easy due to COVID.”
Community centre volunteers have been working steadily over the past two years to raise funds for the playground after losing their previous one when the Bridge Lake Elementary School closed in 2016. Although the community had provided that playground, School District 27 moved it to Horse Lake Elementary.
This meant the nearest playground was in 100 Mile, 45 kilometres away. The Bridge Lake School Society donated $8,000 to the Interlakes Community Centre on the condition they use it to build a new playground at the centre. This money, coupled with a grant from the Cariboo Regional District, Valentine’s Day Dinner/Dance and “lots of private donations,” provided enough funding for the first phase, Benzing said.
An outhouse and picnic tables have also installed at the site, while plans are in the works for a soccer pitch and volleyball court. These will complement the two ball diamonds on site.
“We have a small community here but everyone jumped onto the train. The idea is it will be a place where people of all ages can meet,” Benzing said. “Now it’s on community property so nobody can take it away.”