MAPS asks Mono for accessible playground grant

April 23, 2014   ·   1 Comments

By Tabitha Wells – A four-student delegation from Mono Amaranth Public School (MAPS) appeared before Mono Council Tuesday morning, led by their principal, to seek a grant to assist with the building of a new, accessible playground at the school.

Grade 7 students Justin Logan and Ben Ferguson and grade 8 students Matt Ackerman and Honour Stahl, asked that the Town of Mono donate $5000 to help with the costs, which will not be subsidized in any way by the Upper Grand District School Board.

“We need a new playground because the current one has restricted access and limited options for students,” Ben said. “The new playground would include slides and climbers and would be accessible. We have lots of room on the school property and will still have space for playground.”

One of the biggest issues the school is facing right now is the timeline for the development and construction of the new playground. In January 2015, laws governing  requirements for a playground to be deemed accessible will be changing drastically, and have a huge impact of the cost on the playground.

“What is required to make it more accessible changes and so it increases the cost,” explained principal Tammy Fleming. “There will be more criteria to meet in order to say that a playground is accessible.”

While the playground they are currently planning would meet those accessibility requirements, completing the project now would result in a lower cost for development.

One concern raised by council was whether the school would be seeking funding from other sources besides the Town. Principal Fleming reassured council that they would be approaching other municipalities who have investments in the school, such as the Town of Orangeville, which sends students to the school for French Immersion.

The playground is also used as a community playground, as when the development was built, it was designed to rely on the school’s outdoor facilities rather than creating multiple parks in such a small area. The nearest park to that subdivision would require children to cross the road at Highway 10 and Hockley Road to utilize the accessible park set up at the Cardinal Woods subdivision.

“Kids love to play. Getting outside and playing is exercise helps kids become physically fit and focus better at school,” said Justin. “When kids are crossing their hands and feet over each other they are developing their brain and having fun. It helps them develop strength for physical activities and helps keep them healthy.”

The new playground would include a new surface on the ground that allows wheelchair access to the playground itself, as well as steps and transfer stations, accessible swings and slides and different sensory applications allowing all kids to participate.

Outside of the request for funds from the town, MAPS will also be launching a fundraising campaign called May 4 Play, which will include several different events throughout the month of May.

The campaign will kick-off on May 1 at 2 p.m. with an assembly where people will have the opportunity to see the playground designs, participate in events and hear from students about the importance of an accessible playground.

Town Council agreed to discuss what options are available for a donation and requested to be kept apprised as to how the campaign and fundraisers are going.

For more information on May 4 Play or to get involved as a sponsor or donor, contact the Mono Amaranth Public School office at 519-941-5555 or check out their Facebook page at

Readers Comments (1)

  1. 62burn says:

    Outside of the request for funds from the town, MAPS will also be launching a fundraising campaign called May 4 Play, which will include several different events throughout the month of May.
    don’t you just love how we use and brainwash kids to do the dirty work of useless trustees, teachers and politicians. don’t get me wrong if it is to be done right i would leave it to the kids. as far as ugdsb and trustees saying there is no money, your liars.


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