The TGCA Inclusive Playground
The playground is located on the south side of the TGCA, between the baseball diamonds and the bowling green and horseshoe pits. With its bright blue colour and brightly shaded accents above the equipment, it’s hard to miss. This project began in Sept. 2015 and, through the dedication and hard work of the committees, organizations, and volunteers that made it possible, culminated in a grand opening ceremony on Sept. 29, 2019.
It was a very snowy cold day, but despite the weather there was a great turn out with about 100 people helping us celebrate the completion of our new community space. Among those attending were local politicians: Michelle Rempel, Jeremy Nixon and Sean Chu.
Many community businesses donated food and items to help make our day a success. These businesses were: Beddington Coop, Thorncliffe Safeway, Tim Hortons (40th Ave. location), Bow Tie Pizza, Thorncliffe Dental Clinic, McDonalds Thorncliffe, Moe’s Donair, Sandy Hegland Realty and the TGCA.
The volunteers who comprised The Let’s All Play 2gether society set out to build a gathering space for community members with different backgrounds, ages and abilities, which was distinctly lacking in the area, and in 2017, the volunteers partnered with Variety – the Children’s Charity of Alberta, and found the partnership incredibly beneficial and enlightening.
The equipment supplier that they decided to go with was Game Time – Park and Play Design, and the rubber surfacing is made with recycled tires. The equivalent of 1555 passenger tires were recycled for this project.
There are 4 memorial benches on the playground. These benches were paid for by community members or past members who wanted to honour loved ones.
The TGCA playground is the only playground in Calgary that has an inclusive zip-line where children of all abilities can ride side by side.
Installation of the equipment took place over 3 days at the beginning of Aug. 2019, and a total of 60 volunteers made this happen!
The volunteers canvassed hundreds of local businesses and community members. A total of 74 donors (individuals, businesses and organizations) contributed to pay for this amazing project. The donor wall was supplied by Calgary company Marc Lagerway – Lager Enterprises, and hand painted after installation by Michelle Brodrick, @awomanofherword.
The biggest contributors: RBC Foundation/Calgary Foundation, Parks Foundation, Thorncliffe Greenvew Community Association, Alberta Recycling Grant Program, Kiwanis Alberta, Alberta Government CFEP, Government of Canada EAF, City of Calgary, Lafarge Canada, Variety Alberta.
Here’s what one of the leaders of the Let’s All Play 2gether society, Maureen O’Brien, said about their experience.
“Lots of blood, sweat and tears were shed while planning this playground, but what stands out in our memory are all the amazing “moments”. Can’t mention them all but here are a few:
- TG resident, 4-year-old Gabriel donating all the money from his lemonade stand to the new playground
- Kiwanis Club members treating us to dinner and believing in our cause right from the beginning donating a total of $30,000
- Corpus Christi Knights of Columbus member handing us $100 cash immediately after our presentation to them
- Feeling the “love” the night of the Calgary Foundation/RBC Pitch presentation
- Thorncliffe Greenview senior Marjorie Bell baking a few dozen fresh rhubarb muffins for the install volunteers and delivering them hot and fresh to our construction site
- 15 snowsuit clad, joyful children all laughing together on our climber/spinner in the snow the day of our grand opening
…so, so many great memories!
But by far the most rewarding feeling is every time we drive by this amazing space, that was for years absent of children, and now seeing tons of families playing and having fun.”