August 8, 2019 – Construction is underway on a $220,000 nature inspired playground at Island Lake Conservation Area, with $100,000 received from the Orangeville Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Orangeville. With completion expected this fall, the project is also receiving significant support from the champions at Friends of Island Lake (FOIL), a committee of Credit Valley Conservation Foundation (CVCF).
“This is an exciting new project at Island Lake that will really benefit kids and families,” said Terri LeRoux, Senior Manager, PARCS for CVC and Executive Director, CVCF. “With ongoing community support, we’re bringing this project to life. This playground will offer a one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect kids with nature, inspire unstructured play and encourage outdoor exploring.”
The one-acre natural playground project will use elements like plants, water, logs, boulders and land, plus a built play structure to give kids different sensory experiences and chances to play. They will access outdoor musical instruments, climbing trees and a fully-accessible loop trail with nature-themed play pods that will also be open for skating during the winter.
“Of special note at the new playground is an Indigenous design element that will showcase local cultural heritage,” continued LeRoux. “This is being developed in consultation with our local Indigenous community partners, the Credit River Metis Council.”
CVC acknowledges support from the Orangeville Lions Club and Rotary Club of Orangeville. FOIL hosts several events throughout the year that also contribute funds toward new projects at Island Lake. Most recently, FOIL hosted the 11th Annual Bass Derby on July 13 and 14. This year’s event raised over $31,000 and saw almost 300 participants to support the new playground.
Additional fundraising continues through CVCF. Anyone can donate through CVCF’s secure online Canada Helps webpage or by contacting Sharlene Hardwar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-670-1615 ext. 557.
Photo: A ground-breaking ceremony took place at Island Lake Conservation Area on Friday, July 26, 2019 to kick-off construction of the Nature Inspired Playground – In attendance (left to right): Sharlene Hardwar (CVCF), Councillor Grant Peters (Town of Orangeville), Bob Shirley (FOIL), Bill Lidster (CVC), Bob Dickie (Lions Club), Scott Cafarella (CVC), Steve Warren (Lions Club), Susan Zbinden, Don Voisey (Rotary Club), Mike Walker (Lions Club), Terri LeRoux (CVCF) and Richard Delongte (Rotary Club).