Congratulations 2017 winners!

Congratulations Bouchie Lake Elementary School, Galiano Community School, Marion Schilling Elementary School, and McKay Street Park!

British Columbians have spoken. Bouchie Lake Elementary School, Galiano Community School, Marion Schilling Elementary School, and McKay Street Park are the winners. Each play space will receive revitalizations worth up to $100,000!

See winning spaces

Bouchie Lake Elementary School

Cariboo

  • Category: Recreational & Active Living
  • Location: 2074 Blackwater Road, Quesnel BC

Potential Improvements

Bouchie Lake Elementary School has been a fixture of the Bouchie Lake Community for over 50 yrs and in addition to it's 144 enrolled students, houses a community daycare and Strong Start Program for preschool aged children. We are seeking to improve our outdoor play area in 2 main areas: the building of an outdoor classroom/covered learning area, and the upgrade/replacement of our current playground and blacktop which contains equipment the majority of which is over 30 yrs old. In the past 3 yrs, our PAC has been actively fundraising by hosting community movie nights & scrapbook weekends in our school gym, selling magazine subs, chocolates, school supply labels, & basket raffles. Our building plans have been approved but we are still in need of funds to have this much needed project come to fruition. Upon completion, our outdoor classroom will have a concrete floor, removable benches & possible gardening boxes that our children will be able to access in the shade of the hot summer months and under coverage in our colder winter months. Our goal is to have a fun & safe outdoor learning environment that will provide teachers & students the opportunity to move their studies outside to learn in their natural surroundings.

Community Impact

Our school is accessible to all Bouchie Lake Community members and families. Since our school is over 10km away from the City of Quesnel itself, having an area families can enjoy year round without having to make the drive to town would be so beneficial, appreciated and life-changing to all involved. Our community is one that emphasizes outdoor activities & play and we are lucky to live in such a passionate & involved neighbourhood. This construction & upgrade would benefit the young & old Bouchie Lake Community members alike. To be able to give back & provide the students and residents a place to gather on our school grounds would only add to the community spirit, involvement and heartfelt feelings that our neighbourhood already embodies.

Galiano Community School

Vancouver Island/Coast

  • Category: After School Program Facilities
  • Location: 1290 Sturdies Bay Road, Galiano Island, BC

Potential Improvements

Galiano Island has few options for structured play; there is no pool, recreation centre or skating rink. Families must go off-island to participate in many activities. Time, money and ferry fares limit many children to local activities. The play structure at the Galiano Community School is over 30 yrs old. The monkey bar paint is peeling, there are large gaps in climbing platforms, and components that have been deemed unsafe (e.g. tire swing) have been removed. We want to offer our youth a play space that is fun and helps them grow, learn and stay fit and healthy, but we don't have money for replacement, nor can we modify the structure because of insurance restrictions. Also, the primary structure is wooden and needs treatment for maintenance – a process that raises caregiver concern. A grade 3 student said: “The tires on our playground are breaking and the swings are rusty and squeaky so we need new ones.” A school survey identified playground replacement as a priority and our local soccer club showed enthusiasm for the project, donating $1,000 from their 2016 soccer tournament. We need to replace the entire structure and have few funding sources. Replacement cost is $70,000 to $100,000 – a daunting sum for our small community.

Community Impact

The Galiano Community School (GCS) is a vibrant, multi-use, shared community space with a run down play structure. A new play space will benefit school kids, visitors & families participating in a range of activities & using the following facilities: • GCS: school activities; • Galiano Activity Centre: volunteer-led after school activities & camps offered 6-8 weeks per year (spring/summer); • Galiano Library: combination library/play space visits; • Community Greenhouse & Garden: integrated garden/play space visits & Community Picnic; • Galiano Daycare (opening in 2017): requiring a play space for 2-5 yr. olds. A new play space will help kids grow & imagine, facilitate inter-generational play, and revitalize a child-centred community hub.

Marion Schilling Elementary School

Thompson-Okanagan

  • Category: After School Program Facilities
  • Location: 2200 Park Drive, Kamloops, BC

Potential Improvements

Within walking distance for most Valleyview residents, Marion Schilling Elementary’s playground is a central hub in our community. In addition to the 270 school kids who use it daily, our playground borders a busy community hall, lacrosse box, soccer field and daycare and is visited by the families who use these facilities as well. Marion Schilling hosts a Strong Start program, averaging 20 families daily with children 5 and under who also use the space. In the summer, our school is visited by the Bright Red Book Bus, a literacy initiative that invites children to come play on the playground with their families, pick a book and enjoy time together. As there is no other community playground in our area, Marion Schilling is the only chance many children and their families have to engage in physical literacy and outdoor play. Our vision is to create a safe & welcoming space that would allow everyone to enjoy the outdoors together, from the little ones in our Strong Start to the grandparents watching their grandkids from nearby benches, and everyone in between. Our current playground is old & unsafe for families, and needs to be replaced with new equipment in order to continue to host the families from our local community and beyond.

Community Impact

Our playground is nearly 25 years old and made of treated wood which is deteriorating quickly. It requires regular repair; metal areas are rusting & sharp, and chains throughout the structure present pinch hazards. A playground revitalization would involve a complete replacement, costing about $90,000. It will take years for our PAC to raise these funds given that many of our families are low-income with little ability to contribute. The impact would be significant for the whole community & would enhance the experiences of the many families who visit our playground every day. A new playground would bring our community together, strengthen connections & create lasting memories. A strong community helps build healthy, active & happy children.

McKay Street Park

North Coast

  • Category: Recreational & Active Living
  • Location: Mckay Street at Kootenay Avenue, Prince Rupert

Potential Improvements

The Mckay Street Park is a space currently dominated by an abandoned baseball field, overgrown with alder trees. Adjacent to the old field is a more recent community garden, administered by a local service group, and a lone basketball hoop. At the moment, the space is considered dangerous by many residents, and at night it has been used by drug users as an area sheltered from view. Transition Prince Rupert and our many community partners have worked to consult the community and develop a final park design that will open up the space, provide lighting and clear pathways and sightlines through the space, and create a much needed recreation and play area for the neighbourhood. This design includes potential uses for all ages, including a covered basketball pavilion, expanded community gardens, covered skate/bike area, picnic grounds, dog park, cultural centre, and more. We believe that developing neighbourhood ownership of the space, through meaningful participation in the design process, will greatly increase the safety of the site for children and families, and provide a lasting community benefit.

Community Impact

The impact of this revitalization would have a significant impact on the surrounding neighbourhood. The Mckay Street Park is adjacent to the largest subsidized housing complex in Prince Rupert, which alone houses approximately 400 + residents - namely young families. Not only would a new park/recreation space service the demonstrated needs of this community (especially a basketball pavilion - as Prince Rupert is home to the All Native Basketball Tournament each year), but it would provide additional space for service organizations to offer programming to the local residents. Currently, the youth of the neighbourhood call the park 'nobody's field', with your help, our intent is for them to be able to call it 'everybody's'.

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2016 Play Here Winners:
Lillooet REC Centre and Torquay Elementary. 

It’s amazing what a new play space can do for a community. Last year we revitalized two playgrounds in BC and the results were amazing. Check out how it all came together in Lillooet and Victoria!

Credit: Lillooet News

Lillooet: REC Centre

Lillooet: A town of just 2,300 nestled at the feet of Mounts Brew and McLean and in desperate need of a playground threw its hat in the ring early in BCAA’s 2016 Play Here.

The Lillooet Children First Committee knew how important it was to build a centrally located, accessible to all, safe play space to nurture the developmental needs of its young children. With resources scarce and grants hard to come by, being a BCAA Play Here finalist really brought the community together. 

It all came down to a public vote, and the Lillooet community rose to the challenge. Local people were handing out homemade flyers at the grocery store and regional support came from the Minor Hockey Association spreading the word. As the community came together, amazingly they were able to rally together over 130,000 votes online. 

The community drive didn’t stop there and was integral in both the design and build of the forest themed playground, created to complement the backdrop of the mountains with accessible features for group play and built-in musical elements.

Lillooet’s win is a triumph for community passion!

Victoria: Torquay Elementary 

When an old wooden play structure was deemed unsafe, Torquay Elementary was left with a sad empty space with nowhere for kids to play. Despite the PAC raising funds through as many different avenues as they could they were unable to raise enough money to build the much needed community playground.

When the Victoria community heard about BCAA Play Here they threw determination and passion into the campaign with parents and students canvassing the neighbourhood ensuring local businesses, newspapers and radio stations took notice. 

The overwhelming amount of votes for Torquay Elementary demonstrated the need for a better play space and through BCAA Play Here they were able to receive a brand new, customized playground using the latest in design qualities. 

Torquay Elementary’s new play space includes extraordinary features such as a rotating, multi-level structure that children can climb on or sit in as it spins. The stand-alone spinning structure is the first of its kind in B.C! 

BCAA Play Here saw the school and the local community really join together to strive and achieve something great in making this playground happen. Congratulations Torquay!