On the right is the new equipment at the Qualicum Beach Elementary School.

On the right is the new equipment at the Qualicum Beach Elementary School.

New playground in Qualicum Beach gets help from the town and community at large

Town contributed $15,000 from its coffers to the project

The newest piece of playground at Qualicum Beach is a hit, while also being part of a community effort, said one parent.

The new playground equipment at QBES was installed last Tuesday (Oct. 4) and the Town of Qualicum Beach council is helping with some of the costs.

Halima Rogers, the QBES Parent Advisory Council (PAC) chair, approached the town in June asking for financial support to help fund the new equipment.

At the Oct. 3 council meeting, Qualicum Beach council voted in favour of contributing $15,000 to QBES for playground updates. Of the $15,000, $10,000 was requested by the QBES Parent Advisory Council (PAC) on June 1 and the remaining $5,000 was proposed by town staff to increase the size of the play area.

The additional $5,000 would connect the two existing play areas, which would provide a larger play area that is usable year-round, but could also allow for additional equipment in the future.

Rogers said it really touched a lot of parents that council was willing to help with playground costs. She said community members also helped out by suppling equipment to lay out the gravel.

“It’s just amazing to see people coming forward to help out, and to see something that we didn’t know if it would happen,” Rogers said.

Rogers said the PAC started to get the ball rolling on the playground and its funding last fall, after putting out a survey to parents to see what they wanted.

“Playgrounds came out on top,” Rogers said.

The total cost of the proposed playground is $24,000. Before asking the town for funding, the PAC raised $16,000 and received a $1,200 recreation grant from the Regional District of Nanaimo. The School District 69 also provided services and in-kind support for the project.

Coun. Anne Skipsey said she was pleased to support this project.

“With this grant, it will free up the parents to be able to fundraise, or continue to fundraise, for things like swimming lessons, classroom support, classroom field trips, the library, the mountain bike club, as well as food funding for kids who otherwise would have to go without,” Skipsey said.

Coun. Neil Horner said he liked that council was working with the school on this.

“We talked about youth retention,” Horner said. “At some point, we’ve got to actually put some money into it.”