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City to upgrade five playgrounds in 2022 as part of renewal program

The parks and recreation department plans to spend $110,000 next year to upgrade playgrounds at Moose Square Park, Keith Crescent Park, Happy Valley Park, Iron Bridge and Clark Gillies Park.
Clark Gillies Park new
City hall upgraded Clark Gillies Park this year as part of its annual playground renewal program. The city plans to enhance five other playgrounds in 2022 as part of the program. File photo

Moose Square Park, Keith Crescent Park, Happy Valley Park, Iron Bridge and Clark Gillies Park will each receive upgrades in 2022 as part of city hall’s playground renewal program.

The parks and recreation department plans to completely replace the playground at Moose Square Park next year. It also plans to add new benches and garbage cans at Keith Crescent Park, replace the wood edging and garbage receptacles at Happy Valley Park, install new garbage cans and picnic tables in Iron Bridge, and remove and replace the fencing at the Clark Gillies Park.

Derek Blais, director of parks and recreation, presented the proposed projects during the recent city council meeting. Council later voted unanimously to accept the 2022 playground renewal program.

“Our city has an extraordinary amount of playgrounds per capita … ,” said Coun. Crystal Froese. “Almost in every neighbourhood you can walk to a playground. (The playground renewal program) is a comprehensive list that outlines how we determine what needs improvements and whatnot. It’s a good thing to highlight.”

Council funds this program through an annual allocation of money to the parks and recreation department capital budget, Blais’ report explained. There is $110,000 for these five projects next year, while there is expected to be $115,000 from 2023 to 2026. 

However, capital funding will likely need to increase in 2027 since there will be 11 playgrounds that require replacement from 2027 to 2032.  

The department focused on upgrading three playgrounds this year as part of the program’s inaugural year. Those enhancements included:

  • Replacing the Clark Gillies Park playground with features for all ages and abilities, such as a swing set, accessible pathway to the playground, benches, a picnic table and a small basketball pad
  • Installing a new fence at the Henleaze playground 
  • Providing new benches and garbage cans at Optimist Park and Park Hill playgrounds

There are more than 50 playgrounds throughout the community, the report added. This includes 30 sites that the parks and rec department manages, four playgrounds that Wakamow Valley Authority manages, 15 sites that the school divisions operate, and three playgrounds on public land — Hamilton Flats, Caribou Heights and Memorial Field — leased to third-party groups.

A complete list of playgrounds and when they might be upgraded can be found on the City of Moose Jaw website.

The next regular council meeting is Monday, Oct. 25.