‘Pirate Ship’ playground planned for Kinsmen Park

The Castlegar Early Childhood Advisory Council (CECAC) is looking to push ahead with a toddler-specific playground in Kinsmen Park, city council heard Monday night.

Michelle Pierce, chair of CECAC and Lauren Steeg, coordinator of CECAC spoke to council about the need for a playground for smaller children.

They said out of 79 families surveyed at September’s Parade of Programs, 44 stated a toddler park was a top priority.

Kinsmen Park was chosen as a prime location because 86 per cent of those families said they use the library on a regular basis and the water park is a huge attraction as well.

The ideal piece of equipment is a “pirate ship” which is low to the ground and has a smaller side that toddlers can climb to themselves.

“It is geared for children two years old,” Pierce said, but noted “playground equipment is pretty pricey.”

The pirate ship comes with a price tag of $55,000.

Although Pierce and Steeg admitted it may take a while to secure the funds needed for the toddler equipment, they wanted to receive the go-ahead from council as they were seeking to put the playground on city property.

Council unanimously voted to support CECAC on their request for a toddler playground, but Mayor Lawrence Chernoff said he didn’t know how much they would be able to financially support them yet.

“Realistically, we may have to budget this for 2012,” he said. “We will partnter with them, it’s just  a matter of how much.”

When the playground is ready to be installed, Chris Barlow, director of transportation and civic works for the City of Castlegar, anticipates two city workers will take approximately one week to install the set, with a total installation cost of roughly $6,500.

He estimated it would cost $1,000 a year to maintain.