Official Opening of New Accessible Playground at Richardson Elementary

Although students at Richardson Elementary have been enjoying their fun, new accessible playground since earlier this fall, it didn’t diminish their excitement at seeing the playground officially opened this week!

The universally accessible playground was made possible after the school received a $165,000 grant through the provincial government’s Playground Equipment Program. The playground enables inclusive play by creating a multi-faceted, sensory-rich play space where children, regardless of abilities, ages, stages, needs or preferences, can enjoy unstructured outdoor play. The playground incorporates ground level and elevated sensory, imaginative, cognitive, and social play elements, with the aim of maximizing a rewarding play experience for every child.

Prior to the ribbon-cutting, a ceremony was held inside the gymnasium for all students to celebrate the new playground. Neha (Grade 7) and Tayyaba (Grade 6) emceed the event, while students Ridhay (Grade 3), Cleo (Grade 3), Adelynn (Grade 3) and Aarav (Grade 2) shared their thanks for the new playground.

The ribbon cutting event was attended by special guests including the Honourable Ravi Kahlon, MLA for North Delta, Joe Muego, Vice Chair of the Delta Board of Education, Nick Kanakos, Trustee, Delta Board of Education, Brad Bauman, Assistant Superintendent and Patricia Wilson, School Principal. At the ceremony, it was reiterated that play areas are important in supporting students’ physical literacy and a valuable addition to the entire community.

“In order to have vibrant and healthy communities we need to continue to invest in community amenities such as parks and playgrounds,” said Ravi Kahlon, MLA for Delta-North. “Richardson will be the fourth playground that our government has invested in for North Delta since I became the MLA for this great riding. Today’s investment continues our commitment to parents and children by providing them safe, accessible, and fun playground equipment for them to enjoy.”

“It is great to see North Delta benefit from another new playground,” said Joe Muego, Vice Chair of the Delta Board of Education. “Playgrounds are safe spaces where kids develop crucial physical, social, emotional, and imaginative skills necessary to gain self-confidence, improve coordination, and advance critical thinking capabilities. They help students learn to be citizens through play, sharing and collaboration. The importance of giving our students a safe place to do just that cannot be overstated. Today, we are celebrating another milestone in Richardson Elementary’s history and our collective progress in making Delta School District an innovative, inclusive community where all learners belong, and everyone soars.”

Thanks were expressed to all those who contributed to the project’s success – a project that will serve not only Richardson Elementary’s students, but also the entire local community.

About the Playground

The BC Government announced funding for the new, accessible playground at Richardson Elementary through its Playground Equipment Program in April 2022.

The playground features equipment that incorporates the following elements:

  • Physical Play creates opportunities to climb, clamber, slide, hang, brachiate (move hand over hand), balance, etc. This builds strength, agility, co-ordination; promotes physical literacy. It includes climbers and cargo nets, balancing components such as stepping blocks, monkey bars, and overhead activities at various heights.
  • Motion Play creates opportunities to swing, spin, rock, bounce, and sway. It develops spatial and proprioceptive awareness, stimulates the vestibular system, and provides self-regulation for children on the spectrum. It includes components such as the E-Z spin and tippy canoe.
  • Sensory-Rich Play engages various senses, including auditory, visual, and tactile as well as the vestibular system and proprioceptive awareness. It includes pieces that supply motion, items that create sound and components featuring a various materials and textures.
  • Imaginative and Pretend Play fosters imaginative role play and pretending.
  • Social Play and Parallel Play facilitates connection and interaction between children and includes game panels for multiple users and components arranged side by side.
  • Creative/Cognitive Play involves thinking, manipulating or problem solving. Examples include interactive play panels and objects that involve cause and effect.
  • Quiet Retreat Play creates opportunities to retreat from active play, to rest, perch, observe, and play alone. It includes seating areas, play panels, etc.