Rosedale Park Playground – An NRRA Success Story!
In the June 2013 NRRA newsletter, the playground tendering process was being finalized by the City of Toronto (City) and by late summer the project was awarded to the contractor, Pine Valley Enterprises. By late August, the playground was closed and the construction phase began. These last 3 months have been a flurry of activity, as the site went from a large pile of earth and rubble to a playground that is a unique neighbourhood gem for kids of all ages. By May 2014 the playground was completed!
This initiative has been unique with 100% of the capital funded by private donations. According to the City, our approach to renewing the playground is an innovative model for future public projects. The Playground Committee raised over $500,000 from over private 165 donors. The City has supported the project with a project manager and some small project contributions and will fund the ongoing operating and maintenance costs. The NRRA has been the sponsoring and organizing body with its executive and volunteers committing thousands of hours to organize and manage the project to completion.
The NRRA wants to recognize all of the generous individuals, foundations, corporations and families to make this playground a possibility and whom have given their permission to be recognized. The playground donor community is listed below and we thank each and every one of you for your support.
At the playground site you will see a plaque on the clubhouse west wall, installed by the City and NRRA to recognize the major donors. Specialized plaques have been installed on some of the playground features where donors directed large donations.
Finally, the splash pad and the pavilion have specialized plaques installed to recognize the “Visionary” category donors who made a substantial contribution to make these features of the renovation a reality.
There is a lot to be excited about in the new playground including a few highlights below:
Junior and Senior Play Structures
Now the little kids can play more confidently and safely on appropriate sized equipment for ages < 5. Older kids, ages 6-12, can enjoy more exciting play on a taller, more challenging play structures.
The wading pool has been totally refurbished as a splash pad that promises much more interactive water play, with a sitting wall that will cascade water, two larger-than-life flowers and three ground-level nozzles that spray water on a varying cycle spray, when activated by the kids through a push-button device. The benefit of the splash pad is that the season for use by our kids is significantly extended. The City will open the water feature from May – October (without life-guard supervision), whereas the wading pool would only be open from late June – Labour Day (requiring life guard supervision). If it is a hot day and life guards are available, the splash pad can also be converted into a wading pool with deeper water for the kids.
Granular Granite Ground Cover
While it looks just like sand, this is a high-tech material from the Canadian Shield in cottage country. This material is used in many of the new parks since it is superior to wood chips and regular sand. The benefits include better absorption of shocks and falls to avoid injury, better drainage, it does not freeze solid, it can be cleaned and does not leave a dusty residue on the kids.
Shade & Seating
With the addition of the shade pavilion, picnic tables, benches and improved landscaping, the playground will be more comfortable for parents and better able to accommodate picnics and extended use. The pavilion has been situated to allow cross-playground observation from this one location and the ability to watch rink activities.
This sand is different from the play area, since it allows for easy clumping to make sand castles, etc. There is also a water station at the sand box to wash sand from kids leaving the area.
In live testing with kids the two swivel chairs near the Junior play area are not as interactive as planned. Therefore, these are to be exchanged for more interactive spring toys. For the time being, the swivel chairs will remain until the replacement toys are ready for installation within the coming month.
Fencing surrounds the play area perimeter to keep kids in and bikes and pets out. We all love our dogs, but the unanimous consensus was that parents preferred that dogs be kept outside the fence for health & safety reasons, as it is with the current playground. We have installed a dog drinking station on the south side of the clubhouse outside the fence to ensure fido & friends stay hydrated.