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St. Augustine School's new playground up and running

Local kids are already enjoying the innovative new playground at St. Augustine School. (Photo submitted)


St. Augustine School's new playground is completed and packed with features for the community's younger set to enjoy.

The project, which includes fully accessible equipment and all the favourite sorts of playground features, replaces the old equipment which dated back to the 1980s.

"We are thrilled with the new playground at St. Augustine School," said Holly Sheppard, the project's committee chair. 

"The red playground replacement project was led by parent volunteers of the Friends of St. Augustine School Support Foundation. It has been over four years in the making and it couldn’t have happened without the support of the Alberta Government and the community of Ponoka," she explained. 

"We were fortunate to receive the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) small grant on our first attempt and are extremely grateful to have been chosen as it allowed us to only have a small window where there was no playground for the children to play on."

Sheppard said that the community, including local businesses and organizations, has been very supportive as the project has taken shape.

"We had a lot of successful fundraisers and many of them were in partnership with local businesses," she said, adding that the school also participated in two Read-a-Thons.

Several businesses donated prizes to reward students' efforts in the Read-a-Thons as well.

"The students enjoyed their prizes which motivated them in their reading goals," she said.

There was also a duelling piano/silent auction fundraiser as well, which was well-supported by local businesses and the community as well, she added.

The playground build took place May 23-24.

"The playground was completely installed and opened on the night of June 5. The landscaping is scheduled to be completed over the summer.

"We cannot express enough gratitude for everyone who helped, donated, and supported this project.

"We could not have done this without any of you and your hard work," said Sheppard, adding there are also many folks who worked behind the scenes with fundraising projects, design work, grant writing, and the organization of the actual installation.

Meanwhile, all of the hard work has certainly paid off.

"The students and our community seem to love the playground. We have heard positive feedback, with our favourite being that the playground is 'so bouncy!'" she said.

"The climbing boulder is also a unique centerpiece to the playground, welcoming a new foundation of play. We also encourage Ponoka to come out and enjoy this new play space in our community.

"From the students, the Friends of St. Augustine, and the St. Augustine School, we say a big thank you to each of you who helped enrich the education and community of Ponoka’s youth."


Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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