Playground Equipment Program: $5 million toward 25 new school playgrounds across 25 school districts

THOUSANDS more students will soon have access to new, safe and accessible playgrounds that support play and health as the Province continues to support the Playground Equipment Program (PEP) for a sixth year.

“Playgrounds are excellent for our kids’ physical and mental health, and are spaces where they can be themselves and express their fun-loving nature,” said Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Child Care, on Tuesday. “Our government is helping communities throughout the province with better access to modern playground equipment that will benefit everyone.”

This year, the PEP will provide $5 million toward 25 new school playgrounds across 25 school districts. The Province has increased the amount of funding that school districts will receive per playground to $195,000. Playgrounds are expected to be designed, built and installed over the next year. The program significantly reduces parent-led fundraising that was previously needed to help build playgrounds.

Playgrounds promote physical activity, while encouraging students to share and develop conflict-resolution skills. They also provide students with opportunities to learn new things, reduce anxiety, improve focus, increase attention span, and enhance gross-motor, social, emotional and sensory development.

Since 2018, government has supported students and families with $35 million for new playgrounds at 256 schools, benefiting more than 63,000 students. This funding builds on the Province’s commitment to provide safe learning environments for all students.

Budget 2023 includes $3.4 billion for school capital projects over the next three years, including new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades and replacements, and land purchases for future schools. Since September 2017, the Government of B.C. has announced $3.2 billion for new and improved schools, as well as land purchases for future schools throughout the province. This includes adding approximately 20,000 new student spaces and 33,000 seismically safe seats at B.C. schools.

Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee, said: “Playing is essential to every child’s mental and physical health. The Alexis Park community’s playground has provided a safe place where children and families can play, create adventures and grow together for many more years to come.”


New accessible school playgrounds around B.C.

School districts in B.C. are receiving funding from the Playground Equipment Program, which was introduced in May 2018 to support building new and replacement playgrounds.

The following districts have been approved for $195,000 for an accessible playground at the schools listed below:

SD36 (Surrey)

* Holly Elementary

SD39 (Vancouver)

* G.T. Cunningham Elementary

SD5 (Southeast Kootenay)

* Frank J Mitchell Elementary

SD8 (Kootenay Lake)

* Canyon/Lister Elementary

SD10 (Arrow Lakes)

* Nakusp Elementary

SD19 (Revelstoke)

* Begbie View Elementary

SD33 (Chilliwack)

* Bernard Elementary

SD46 (Sunshine Coast)

* Kinnikinnick Elementary

SD48 (Sea to Sky)

* Garibaldi Highlands Elementary

SD51 (Boundary)

* Dr. D.A. Perley Elementary

SD58 (Nicola-Similkameen)

* Merritt Bench Elementary

SD59 (Peace River South)

* Canalta Elementary

SD62 (Sooke)

* Dunsmuir Middle School

SD64 (Gulf Islands)

* Fulford Community Elementary

SD69 (Qualicum)

* Arrowview Elementary

SD70 (Pacific Rim)

* Alberni Elementary

SD71 (Comox Valley)

* Denman Island Community School

SD72 (Campbell River)

* Pinecrest Elementary

SD79 (Cowichan Valley)

* Lake Cowichan Elementary

SD82 (Coast Mountains)

* Thornhill Primary

SD83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap)

* Armstrong Elementary

SD84 (Vancouver Island West)

* Captain Meares Elem-Secondary

SD85 (Vancouver Island North)

* Alert Bay Elementary

SD91 (Nechako Lakes)

* Fraser Lake Elementary-Secondary

SD92 (Nisga’a)

* Alvin A. Mckay Elementary School


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