Indoor playground equipment at North Peace SuperPark.
All photos: North Peace SuperPark
New equipment at North Peace SuperPark ensures inclusive play all year
Since 2013, North Peace SuperPark Society has been advocating for an indoor play facility in B.C.’s Peace Region and in 2018 this dream was realized in two steps: first with the leasing of a spacious location in Fort St. John and second with the installation of quality indoor play equipment.
Shortly after the facility’s opening in their 3,500 square-foot location, North Peace SuperPark Society successfully applied for a $50,000 grant through Northern Development’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program.
“We had a challenging time getting funding to open a facility, so we decided to jump in with both feet and trust that accessible indoor play meant as much to the community as it did to our board of directors,” said Jaandi Roemer, executive director of North Peace SuperPark. “Once we opened our facility in the summer of 2018, we could apply for more financial support, like the $50,000 grant from Northern Development. That investment made all the difference in us being able to furnish the space with quality play pieces for children of all abilities to enjoy throughout the year.”
With a mission to bring the community together and support child development through fun, safe and inclusive play all year, the society needed financial support to help fulfill its goals. Northern Development’s $50,000 commitment made up a significant portion of the $71,676 project that saw the installation of an indoor bouldering wall, construction of a cedar play structure and a hideaway reading hut.
“Seeing and hearing children playing in our space is so fulfilling,” Roemer continued. “Providing families with the opportunity to freely play 12 months a year is building children’s strengths, increasing their inquisitiveness and creating relationships. We’re pleased to be a destination that families see value in and we’re very excited of the gem that it has become in our community.”
Community members indeed see value in the SuperPark, with membership rocketing from five families to more than 600 in less than two years.
Funding for the play equipment came from Northern Development’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities grant program. This funding program aims to help organizations improve, expand or develop facilities in order to increase the quality of life for residents and increase tourism revenues. It is evident that the Trust’s grant to North Peace SuperPark Society is achieving these goals, as the SuperPark held many events, from glow Nerf wars to fundraisers, 2019.