The Town of Banff has planned a new playground at the Recreation Grounds, and it’s not the typical playground from the past.
The new playground is scheduled for development in 2023, replacing the aging play features beside the washrooms on Birch Avenue and near the new Nancy Pauw Bridge. The playground will be nearly double in area and offer play elements for a wider range of ages, with features specially for toddlers 1 to 5 years old, and adventure play features for ages 6 to 12.
The playground will include common features like slides and swings, but it incorporates the latest research in nurturing creative, cognitive and social development through play. Natural elements, such as logs, rocks, and trees are incorporated into the play areas, enhancing the harmony with our mountain community in the national park, while offering different types of play needed for childhood development.
The overall design of site the components, landscape layout and site amenities of the playground align with many accessibility principals, like the Americans with Disabilities Act and Universal Design. Within the current design, 100% of the landscape layout and 60% of the play components are accessible.
This new amenity was identified in the process that created the Banff Recreation Grounds Redevelopment Plan (PDF) in 2015. That plan incorporates a common theme gathered in the public consultation process: “replace and expand the existing playground with a nature and adventure play area for a wider range of age groups.” A strong majority of participants in the consultation supported the development of this new type of natural and adventure playground.
Elements used in planning the expanded and updated playground:
Safety, health and well-being needs for children
Evidence-based research into how children play and features benefits for development