By Woodard, Dale on October 10, 2020.
It’s the playground for everybody.
The Crossings Playground on Lethbridge’s west end was officially unveiled with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a sunny, but slightly cool, Friday morning.
With the assistance of a trio of children enjoying the playground, Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman led the official cutting of the ribbon at the facility located on the corner of Caledonia Boulevard and Abitibi Road, just north of Chinook High School.
“We have to recognize that when we build a structure we’re not just building it for some people,” said Spearman. “This playground is for a variety of ages and it’s for a variety of children and residents of our community with a wide range of abilities. So we want to make sure that when we build a facility in the City of Lethbridge that as many people as possible can benefit from it.”
Lethbridge Land began the Crossings Playground project in early 2019 and included extensive community engagement that included a survey, an online forum and two public open houses as residents provided feedback on what they would like to see the new playground include.
Among the main attractions of the playground is a 25-foot enclosed climbing tower, a crab trap netted climbing structure, a dual, 66-foot zipline with one standard disc seat and one accessible seat and a full-accessible merry-go-round.
Also at the westside site is a games plaza, tot play structure, swings – including a friendship swing – a natural play pod complete with rocks, stumps and a cabin, and an all-terrain limestone track.
“I think throughout our city people are very pleased with the amenities that we provide and the parks we provide,” said Spearman. “We have a regular program of upgrading our playground facilities, even in older parks. But when you have a new park, we want to make sure we have facilities that are close by to people living in the area. Facilities like this make Lethbridge a great place to live. You can see new houses going up and this is walking distance for people and is a nice, safe place to play.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to keep people close to home, Spearman said having a facility like the Crossings playground will go a long way toward promoting physical and mental health.
“This year when people are more or less housebound and their activities are very limited in terms of extracurricular (activities), having facilities where people can go outside, play and get fresh air is so important in terms of mental health, being able to have the wind in your hair and being in the sunshine. You don’t want people to be bored. There has to be something to do. So this is perfect for kids. It’s healthy and it generates exercise and helps keep people fit mentally and physically.”
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