By Emily Rogers
Red Deer Express
Youth HQ, Kerry Wood Nature Centre, and members of the community are partnering to host Red Deer’s first Adventure Playground, on June 30th from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m.
The event will take place at Kerry Wood Nature Centre in the Nova Chemicals Imagination Grove. The event is open to all ages of the public.
The adventure playground is a great way to encourage children to take risks in a safe manner, said Executive Director of Youth HQ Jacquie Boyd.
Modeled after similar projects in Calgary and around the world, Adventure Playgrounds are supervised spaces where youth are encouraged to get dirty, use manual tools, and foster imaginative play with items at hand. Companies within Red Deer have generously donated recycled materials including cardboard, recycled plastics, wood, tools and renovation supplies for kids to use and construct a world of their own making. Youth HQ, Nature Centre staff and volunteers will be on hand to supervise and engage with youth throughout the day.
Boyd added not only will the children be outside for the day, but they will also have the opportunity to learn a new set of skills, coping mechanisms and how to overcome challenges they are faced with.
Program Coordinator Emily West said parents are encouraged to stay with their children while at the event, as it will run as a regular playground. However, the event can be an exciting opportunity for parents to observe their children use their imagination to create and build various objects, officials said.
“This event will have huge benefits for kids over time in the community,” said Boyd. “It’s an excellent opportunity for kids to develop.”
Boyd added organizations in Red Deer have begun to pursue the shift in learning and have hosted creative programs, much like the Adventure Playground, however the previous programs have been targeted towards younger children. Boyd and West hope their efforts in hosting the Adventure Playground will inspire other organizations in the community to open up the programming to a wider range of children.