Cache Creek’s new playground was officially opened on July 13, with Mayor John Ranta and Councillors Lisa Dafoe and Herb Hofer cutting the ribbon on the new and improved feature of the village’s park.
The mayor thanked MP Mark Strahl for his assistance in obtaining funding for the project. The Canada Economic Action Plan provided half of the $256,000 funding, with the Village of Cache Creek matching the grant.
Ranta said that a frequently asked question was why, when the village already had perfectly good equipment, did they need to get rid of it. The answer is that a risk management team from the Municipal Insurance Association assessed the old equipment and reported that it was not compliant with current safety regulations. The new pieces all comply with these regulations, and at least one of the old pieces was able to be retained after suitable modifications to bring it up to current standards.
The project also enabled the Village to fill in and grass over the area in which the playground is situated, raising it so that it is less liable to flooding. Ranta noted that when much of the park was flooded earlier this year, the playground area was untouched, which has not always been the case in the past.
One concern that has been raised is about the use of wood chips around the base of the equipment. The Village had hoped to use engineered wood fibre, instead of the chips, which can result in splinters. Ranta said that Village staff are looking into the situation to see what can be done to remedy it, with one possibility being replacing the wood chips with washed pea gravel similar to what was in the old playground.
Those who lament the absence of the popular mechanical digger piece of equipment will be reassured to hear that it will be back as soon as more suitable material for digging in can be installed.