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Play structure gets raves from experts

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The surface underneath the new play structure at Westdale Community Centre is made of a durable new material called PebbleFlex.

PHOTO BY DAVID HULTIN Enlarge Image

The surface underneath the new play structure at Westdale Community Centre is made of a durable new material called PebbleFlex. Photo Store

There are now even more ways to escape summer boredom and beat the summer heat at Westdale Community Centre, 550 Dale Blvd.

A brand-new play structure designed specifically for kids 5 to 12 years of age was recently installed and it’s a sight to behold with all of its levels, bright colours and many ways to have fun. Perhaps the most interesting feature is what lies beneath it — a bouncy, rubbery and flexible surface unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Called PebbleFlex, it is comprised of millions of pebbles bonded together to create a durable, seamless surface that is weather resistant, safe and designed for endless play. The cushion layers are made of 100% post-consumer recycled material, while the pebbles are made of 20% post-industrial recycled material, and are all recyclable. It also allows for easy access for wheelchairs and walkers.

My nephews, who know a good playground when they see one, test drove the new structure and were impressed.

Dylan Hafenbrak, 10, said, "I like all the climbing levels and the different things there are to do."  

His five-year old brother, Carter, said: "I like the squishy floor because it won’t hurt when I fall."

Westdale’s new splash pad, a $500,000 project that officially opened in late June, features eight in-ground spray features and six above-ground spray features. To assist in reducing water consumption, water for the splash pad will be recirculated from the adjacent outdoor pool. The pad is also designed to meet the City of Winnipeg Accessibility Design Standards.

If swimming is more your style, the outdoor pool is heated to a very comfortable 29 C, it features a one-metre diving board, and it’s available for lap swimming. There’s also a suntan area on the deck, showers and on-site parking.

It’s good to see the city committing infrastructure dollars to recreation services as well as community centres. The playground strikes me as innovative thinking that has been built to last, while the spray pad has the word ‘fun’ written all over it.

So far this summer, it has been a rare day that there hasn’t been a crowd enjoying all the  community centre has to offer.    

The playground is accessible from Westgrove Way. The spray pad is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the summer months, while the pool is available from 1 p.m.to 7 p.m. until Sept. 2.

David Hultin is a community correspondent for Charleswood.

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