Kids, builders and the mayor of Smithers recently cut the ribbon for a new playground on Turner Way.
Equipped with a full basketball court, play structure and a water tap to make ice rinks, the new playground is a hit with parents and kids alike.
“The kids are playing together more, and it gets them off the street,” said local parent Birgit Laskowski. “I really like that—it’s way safer this way.”
Shaelyn Radu, one of the children who lives by the new playground, said it’s a perfect place to play “grounders.”
“It’s a game where when someone’s ‘it’ they close their eyes and count one to ten and goes up,” Radu said. When they shout “grounders!” whoever hasn’t scrambled onto the monkey bars or slide or platform is also it.
Recreation director Andrew Hillaby said Shaelyn and others had a direct role in how the new playground would look.
“The kids picked the design and debated the colours,” he said, adding that the play structure’s original brown deck wouldn’t do.
“They wanted a blue deck, so they got a blue deck,” he said. Local parents also chose swings for both preschoolers and older kids on the swing set.
Smithers Mayor Cress Farrow thanked the several local companies and community groups who helped make the park happen, including LB Paving, the B.V. Kinsmen, Smithers Lumber and the Wetzinkwa Community Forest.
“This is truly a hallmark project for the Town,” Farrow said. The town committed a total of $35,000 to fund the playground, which went from a proposal to a finished project within a year.