In Accessible Travel, Health and Wellness, News & Blog

BC Parks introduces new playgrounds with accessible features in Omineca Peace Region of Northern BC.

a kid in a wheelchair explores a new accessible playground in Northern BC. He wheels under a bridge on a smooth, flat ground.
Whiskers Point playground

On July 17, BC Parks headed out to Whiskers Point provincial park to celebrate Canada’s Parks Day. However, that was not the only thing that we were celebrating that day. We also celebrated the opening of a new playground, as Whiskers Point recently became home to a playground with universally accessible features. This is the fifth playground of its kind in the Omineca Peace region. The first one, at Purden Lake, opened in 2018 and since then four other playgrounds have been opened, including three that are new this summer. You can find them at Purden Lake, Swan Lake, Moberly Lake, Paarens Beach and Whiskers Point Provincial Parks.

As a student intern with BC Parks, I was thrilled to learn how committed the B.C. government is to making B.C. accessible to persons of all abilities. BC Parks continues to make accessibility upgrades in parks throughout the province and incorporates universal design standards in new campgrounds and recreation sites so everyone can get out and enjoy nature. BC Parks also works with community organizations to improve facility accessibility, from boardwalks to washrooms to playgrounds.

Despite the rainy weather, kids were very eager to explore the new playground at Whiskers Point. They were even able to do so by putting themselves in someone else’s shoes by exploring the playground’s universally accessible features with a wheelchair provided by Spinal Cord Injury BC. Kids were able to discover the accessible features of the park, and it was awesome to see them having fun while experiencing the playground from a new perspective.

I even got a chance to check out the playground and it made me want to be a kid again! There were so many new and unique features at this playground that I had never seen before.

a photo of Swan Lake accessible playground. The playground has a ramp for access and flat ground
Swan Lake playground
two interns for BC Parks kneel in front of a booth with whiteboards and info about Northern BC
BC Parks staff at Whiskers Point
a sign language alphabet board at a playground

From wheelchair accessible swings and colourful xylophones to tactile climbing walls and easy-to-navigate grounds, this park has something for everyone.

Kids were also learning how to spell out their names in sign language by using the sign language alphabet board.

It’s very exciting to see how BC Parks are updating facilities to make them more inclusive. As playgrounds like this one become more common, I hope that both kids and adults can recognize how unique each person is and why implementing universal design standards within parks is an important step to take.

We hope to see you in one of the provincial parks with an accessible playground – come explore the beautiful parks of Northern BC!!

Note: Content provided by BC Parks.

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