Students at St. Bernard of Clairvaux School in Waterford have spent this school year without playground equipment, but a group of parents is hoping to change that.
The old playground equipment at the school was deemed unsafe and removed from the property. It was sold for parts and the school received $6,000 towards a new playground. That, along with other money, gave the fundraising a $11,000 start.
The estimated cost of a new playground is around $70,000, which includes equipment, delivery, installation, excavating, and mulch.
A group of about eight parents have formed a playground committee, an extension of the parent council, to apply for any possible funding to make a new playground a reality.
“We went to Henderson (Recreation Equipment) because we wanted to keep the money local in Norfolk County,” said committee chair Meaghan Nadwodny.
Grade 5 students Paige Roy and Julianne Tardif, along with Grade 3 student Emery Miklavcic spoke recently about what their dream playground would be.
Some of the ideas floating around included multiple slides, a giant dinosaur, pink and purple colours, climbers, and things to spin on.
Currently there are only a few swings on the school yard and students have been asked to keep their time to a minimum to give everyone a turn. Other parents have donated balls and jump ropes to give the students things to do during recess.
“Our poor kids have nothing to do out there,” said Cynthia Ferreira, another member of the committee.
“It’s so boring, all we do in the winter is play on the really slippery ice hills,” Tardif said about recess. “Actually I just tripped and hurt myself out there.”
Another concern is that this space was the only playground for children at that end of Waterford. There are two other playgrounds but children would have to cross the busy Main Street or walk across town to get to either of locations.
Fundraising efforts are underway beginning with a pathway to the playground. The goal is to sell engraved bricks with corporate sponsors’ logos or family names engraved. The tiles range in price from $250 to more than $1,000 depending on size and details included in the engraving.
So far the group has raised just under $10,000 through brick sales. They have also received donations from the Waterford Lions Club and local Rotary Club.
There is a ladies comedy night planned for May 9 at 7 p.m. in the Waterford Royal Canadian Legion. Tickets are $50 in advance or $60 at the door. All proceeds will go directly towards the new playground.
To purchase tickets to the event or to learn about the pathway bricks contact Nadwodny at Meaghan.Nadwodny@gmail.com or call 226-931-1991.
Purchasers of bricks will receive a charitable tax receipt for the full price paid.