New playground for Fort Chipewyan youth

New playground for Fort Chipewyan youth
Officials from Keyano College, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Province of Alberta officially open a new playground in Fort Chipewyan on June 25.Photo: Sean McLennan, Keyano College.

Fort Chipewyan’s youngsters are sliding, swinging and zipping after the community cut the ribbon on its new playground earlier this summer.

The new set of slides, swings and a mini zipline lies behind Keyano College’s community campus on the corner of McDermot Ave. and Paquette St.

Funds for the more than $150,000 recreation project were split between the college, the municipality of Wood Buffalo and a local community group.

Therese Greenwood, Keyano’s vice president of Advancement and External Affairs, made the trip out to Fort Chipewyan for the ribbon cutting ceremony in June.

“We were just delighted because during the ribbon cutting ceremony, there were kids riding up on their bikes and then jumping up on the slides and monkey bars and climbing all over the place while the speeches were going on. It was fantastic,” she told The Journal.

Wood Buffalo councillors Julia Cardinal and Keith McGrath, Wood Buffalo MLA Mike Allen and Richard Starke, Alberta Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation, were among the 30 or so present for the opening.

The brightly-coloured playground features classics like a swing set, monkey bars, slide and see-saw, along with a tic-tac-toe game, multiple bridges and a child-sized zip line for the more adventurous youth.

Greenwood said the college committed to building the recreational park because its community campus, which opened in 2011, was built on an old playground site. The new park is on Keyano land that the college donated back to the municipality specifically to build the new playground.

“Recreation and wellness can be key to learning, so Keyano is proud to be contributing to a fun and lively area for children in Fort Chipewyan,” Greenwood said.

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