New Island Lake natural playground opens, will be a hit with local youth

October 16, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The new natural playground at the Island Lake Conservation Area offers all sorts of ways for local kids to enjoy the great outdoors.

The playground was officially opened on Tuesday (Oct. 6), after two years of planning, design, and the physical challenge of shaping the earth and bringing in large stone blocks to form both the amphitheatre and a climbing wall.

With 1.1 acres of nature-inspired play area, which incorporates natural elements like plants, water, logs, boulders and terrain, it features a play structure to provide different sensory experiences and types of play opportunities.

Members of the board of directors of Credit Valley Conservation, Friends of Island Lake, Orangeville Lions Club, Rotary Club of Orangeville, and Dods & McNair Funeral Home.

Funding for the park was provided by Friends of Island Lake, the Lions Club, Rotary Club, Dods & McNair, the Jackman Foundation, and Dufferin County.

“We’re beyond excited to officially open the natural playground,” said Terry LeRoux, senior manager, property, assets, recreation and conservation areas at CVC.  “Time in nature is more important now than ever with all the stresses of the pandemic. This playground is an opportunity for kids to engage in unstructured, physically distanced play that encourages discovery and new experiences. We want to inspire nature appreciation for the next generation of park visitors.”

Structures in the park include a 15 metre long climbing wall and two sideways climbing trees. There in an obstacle course and outdoor musical instruments.

The playground also features Indigenous design elements developed in consultation with the Credit River Metis Council.

During the winter the 2.5 trail around the playground will be groomed and flooded for skating and skiing.

The CVC started building the natural playground in August 2019. The total cost of the project was $220,000.

The Island Lake Conservation Area is already a popular place for people to connect with the outdoors.

This new natural playground will connect people to nature and provide recreational experiences and health benefits to park visitors.

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