Topham Students Help Add Fun with Playground Design

March 11, 2021

There’s a new bright, blue and green play structure at Topham Elementary and it’s getting a lot of use by those that helped design it. The north Langley elementary school recently installed a new playground.

Students spent this past week with their classes and cohorts testing it out.

“Some parts of the playground the kids actually got to develop and have some input on, so it’s really important to their sense of self-esteem,” says Teacher Katherine Davis. She says students helped with picking pieces and designing the project based on their interests.

It’s a new play space that will promote physical literacy according to Davis.

“The new structure allows for a lot more movement styles that we didn’t have on some of the older play structures. It allows for students to interact with the playground in different way. We’ve got this great rolling slide which is rare in the community. It just develops different senses and allows the kids to explore their feelings in a different way,” explains Davis.

“We are so excited to have this new playground in our community. We are so appreciative of the funding provided by the Ministry of Education and also the support from our school Parent Advisory Committee. It’s a play space that the Walnut Grove community can enjoy,” says Principal Vanessa Jaggi.

The province funded $125,000 and the PAC helped provide the remaining funding needed to complete the project.

 “As soon as we heard about the new playground coming in, members of the PAC immediately volunteered to help with some of the labour in order to maximize the funding! Since we couldn’t physically volunteer, we donated $15,000 for the bark mulch and its installation instead. We are fortunate and very grateful to have an engaged parent community who support our fundraisers, which in turn allows us to do these things,” remarks PAC President Andrea Atkinson.

Atkinson says the PAC is already busy working on another school project but are taking the time to watch students enjoy the new playground.

“Currently, we are helping fund the update of our school library. The playground itself is incredible. It’s nice to see the old merry-go-round making a comeback! It’s the most popular structure on the playground right now with the older and younger kids lining up and taking turns on it,” added Atkinson.

The playground comes at a good time for the community as students end classes for Spring Break.