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This article was published 18/9/2018 (429 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
On Sept. 5, the site was checked in the morning for a final time. The red metal fences surrounding the area were taken down. Workers checked each area carefully. All was safe and ready.
Then the doors of Nordale School were opened and the kids came pouring out onto their brand spanking new nature playground.
And what a playground it is.
"It’s fun climbing up and over the wall," said Malin, a Grade 3 student.
"I love it," exclaimed Aiden, who’s in Grade 4.
"Lots of cool stuff to do", asserted Abbey, Grade 5.
I like the big stones and the soft ground," offered Isaiah, Grade 5.
"The super natural design is amazing," declared Sam, Grade 7.
Kids can sit or walk on large stones or wooded stumps; run through an arbor; climb a wall; hang from the play structure; swing on the updated swings structure, with new access for people with disabilities; role-play in two canoes; tumble down a massive berm; or examine diverse plants for classroom study.
There are many unique places for students to congregate, play, hang out, and take small risks appropriate for their mindsets and abilities.
The largest berm in the division was open for the day but it will be off limits for a few weeks to give the grass added time to root.
There was once just one tree in the entire playground, but now there are 98 trees and over 50 native shrubs surrounding play spaces and the larger yard.
Parent Tim Howells appreciates the "trees with wind breaks and sun protection" and a playground with "so much do to do."
Nature playgrounds, a trending community landscape design concept, bring children and people back to nature and encourage safe, collaborative play.
Nordale principal Dave Everly felt opening day "was magical" and applauds "the tireless hard work and fundraising from Nordale parent advisory group playground co-chairs, Trina McFadyen and Julia Hoeppner, along with the support of local families and the business community."
Trina and Julia offered "special kudos to Ray Dubois," owner of Ron Paul Garden Centre, who participated in virtually each phase of the construction and implementation of the project.
Louis Riel School Division trustee Louise Johnston said "this is a true example of community, school division, city and federal governments, and local businesses working together to create a legacy that will be enjoyed by the community for many years ahead."
The division has acknowledged that the project is one of the most ambitious it has seen in a school greenspace. The next phase includes a climbing net, more swings, additional shrubs, and new pathways.
The grand opening will be held on Sept. 21 at 2:30 p.m. in the playground, unless it’s raining. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Adriano Magnifico is a community correspondent for St. Boniface. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Boniface community correspondent
Adriano Magnifico is a community correspondent for St. Boniface.