HAMMER IT - Ten-year-old Kera Wolf gets to try out some hammering as Volunteer with Boys and Girls Club Jasper Lind holds the boards steady at the Adventure Playground event held at Kerry Wood Nature Centre June 30th. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

Second Adventure Playground event held in Red Deer

Event takes place this weekend at the Rotary Picnic Park

Partnering with AMPed2PLAY and Kerry Wood Nature Centre, Youth HQ will be hosting Red Deer’s second mobile Adventure Playground event.

Modelled after similar projects in Calgary, Adventure Playgrounds are supervised spaces where youth and adults alike are encouraged to use their imagination, using manual tools and playing with items at hand, which are donated from various businesses in the community.

The first Adventure Playground event was held June 30th at Kerry Wood Nature Centre.

“It was very well received by the community. One group for example, the Red Deer Childcare Centre had a number of their children participate in it as well as individuals,” said Jacquie Boyd, executive director for Youth HQ, adding there were a couple of families who spent the whole day there.

Doug Evans, who works for the City of Red Deer, made Youth HQ aware of Adventure Playgrounds, and thought it was a great idea, so they are now testing it out, collaborating with various groups in Red Deer.

“This one is the second of the pilots and we’re going to be evaluating each one as we go as to how successful they are and their response from the community,” said Boyd.

She said the last Adventure Playground event saw a wide array of participants from youngsters to those in their early teens, all using their imagination to create.

“I would say it’s organized disarray, because they can basically let their minds go wild and do what they need to do.”

She said these types of playgrounds are more free thought as kids get to create what they’re going to do.

“It’s not a set of swings or an outdoor gym or anything like that,” she said.

Unlike other everyday playgrounds, the Adventure Playground isn’t a permanent structure where it will be there the next day or week. It’s disassembled and removed, and uses mostly recycled materials.

“It lets kids have some experiences that they may never have had a chance to have because they don’t have a big backyard, or people today don’t necessarily have a lot of renovation items in their stock pile of goodies for kids to play.”

The event will take place Sept. 2nd from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rotary Park and is open to all ages.

“We’re trying different venues to see what’s more accessible or popular with families,” said Boyd.

Youth HQ, AMPeD2PLAY and Kerry Wood Nature Centre staff and volunteers will be on site to supervise and engage with youth throughout the day.

Boyd said because it’s been so well received, she anticipates some form of it to be in the City.


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