Tri-Cities MLAs say local students to get new accessible playgrounds
PORT MOODY – New Democrat MLAs Rick Glumac and Mike Farnworth say students at Cedar Drive Elementary and École Porter Street Elementary will soon have new accessible playgrounds, thanks to $250,000 in provincial funding.
“We know how important it is to have good outdoor spaces for kids to play, learn, and grow,” said Glumac, MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam. “These new playgrounds are a critical investment in our kids’ wellbeing, now and into the future.”
“All kids deserve to have safe places to play outside with their friends, regardless of their circumstances,” said Farnworth, MLA for Port Coquitlam. “We’re making these investments so that more people in the Tri-Cities will have new, accessible playgrounds in their neighborhoods.”
Funding for the new playgrounds comes from the provincial government’s Playground Equipment Program (PEP), now in its third year. The program provides up to $5 million each year to school districts to purchase new or replacement playgrounds. This year, 40 schools are receiving $125,000 each towards a new, universally-accessible playground – a $25,000 increase for each playground from last year’s investment.
Since 2018, new playgrounds have also been announced in the Tri-Cities for Moody Middle, Eagle Mountain Middle, Central Elementary, and Pleasantside Elementary.
Playgrounds help promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles, encourage children to share, develop conflict resolution skills and overcome challenges. Playing outside helps reduce anxiety, improves focus, and helps enhance students’ attention spans.
The PEP was launched in 2018. Since then, government has invested $15 million to provide 141 new playgrounds to schools throughout the province, benefitting over 35,000 students. Every school district has now received at least one new playground. The program relieves parents of some of the responsibility for fundraising for playground equipment and provides access to communities that don’t have the fundraising capacity to buy the playground equipment students need.
The PEP is a part of the Province’s commitment to update aging infrastructure in B.C. schools to provide safe, enjoyable and accessible learning environments. The New Democrat government has delivered historic levels of funding to B.C. schools, including a record $2.8 billion for new and improved schools for B.C. students in Budget 2020.