An artist rendering of the new playground at Maffeo Sutton Park. (Landscape Playgrounds/City of Nanaimo photo).

An artist rendering of the new playground at Maffeo Sutton Park. (Landscape Playgrounds/City of Nanaimo photo).

Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park playground getting a complete redesign

Playground upgrades, including new equipment and surfacing, to be completed by spring

Upgrades have started at Maffeo Sutton Park playground.

The City of Nanaimo on Wednesday afternoon issued a press release stating that the playground at the downtown park is currently being upgraded with brand-new equipment.

The new playground equipment will be “inclusive for all” users and will help improve motor, cognitive and social skills, according to the press release, which notes that the current gravel surface will be replaced with wood fibre and a rubber surface that improves access for those who have mobility challenges.

Other features include the installation of First Nations art pieces which will depict “life along the Millstone River with coho salmon as some of the characters,” the release states.

Work is expected to be completed on the playground by spring.

The upgrades are part of a partnership project between City of Nanaimo, Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island and the Nanaimo Child Development Centre.

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said in the release that the partnership “will greatly improve the community’s access to inclusive play areas. The city is very fortunate to work with these and other community organizations to improve Maffeo Sutton playground.”

Dominic Rockall, executive director with the Nanaimo Child Development Centre, said the playground’s upgrades will benefit all ages.

“We want to express our appreciation and gratitude to everyone who was and is part of this initiative to create accessibility, celebrate inclusion and build our community,” he said in the release.

Plans to make the downtown park’s playground more accessible have been in the works for years. The cost of the project was not disclosed in the press release, however in 2017, the Nanaimo Child Development Centre aimed to raise $1 million to make the park more accessible to everyone.

RELATED: Million-dollar accessible playground envisioned at Maffeo Sutton Park

RELATED: Improvement options explored for Maffeo Sutton Park

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