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Unstructured play comes to North Delta

Delta’s new Adventure Playground gives kids a chance to play with hammers, nails and saws
Kids use saws, hammers and nails in North Delta’s Adventure Playground, an unstructured and supervised play area by the North Delta Recreation Centre. (Grace Kennedy photo)

The grounds outside the North Delta Recreation Centre are now home to an Adventure Playground, North Delta’s first unstructured play area.

The playground is one of two that were created in Delta for the summer of 2017 — the second is at the South Delta Recreation Centre in Tsawwassen — and is designed to give kids an open forum for play and exploration.

“It’s really cool,” said Chantel Kosmynka, recreation programmer for Delta. “And the surprised looks of, ‘You mean I can have nails? I can have a hammer? I can have a saw?’ They want to use those tools. And they’re creating such cool things.”

North Delta resident Wade Forster doesn’t think it’s all good news.

“I don’t think we should be teaching kids to put foreign objects into trees,” he said. “If they get out in the forests of the province, they think putting nails in trees is appropriate.”

Ken Kuntz, Delta’s parks, recreation and culture director, said the location of the playground was chosen to “include mature trees that could withstand some rough treatment.” He also said they are “encouraging children to use rope rather than nails” but won’t dictate their play.

“I think it’s great to get the kids off their phones,” Forster said about the concept behind the playground. “But not in that way.”

The idea for the playground was introduced to Delta council by Counc. Robert Campbell at the beginning of 2017, and was put into action for July. The project cost around $32,000 for the two playgrounds.

That money largely went towards the initial creation of the playgrounds; continuing donations of money and materials will sustain the playgrounds through the summer and the coming years.

The Adventure Playground will be open through to Sept. 3, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Correction: an earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed Ken Kuntz’s quote to Megan Carey. Although the information was provided to the Reporter through Carey in an email, the content was written by Kuntz.