Coquitlam's Adventure Playground returns for another summer

Program emphasizes "unstructured play" and will run between July 2 and Aug. 30

Coquitlam’s Adventure Playground pop-up park will be coming back to City Centre this summer — and once again, parents should stay out. 

Between July 2 and Aug. 30, kids three to 12 years of age can pick up hammers and nails and build their own creations in the wooded area north of the City Centre Aquatic Complex. According to the city, the initiative emphasizes unstructured play, giving kids the opportunity to test their limits “within an environment of managed risk.”

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The playground returns after last summer’s pilot project, which drew approximately 90 to 100 visitors daily from across the region, said a city staff report. 

“It was a successful pilot,” deputy city manager Raul Allueva told a committee meeting last fall, when council was considering making the program a permanent summer feature. “We believe it has merit to continue as an ongoing city program.”

Allueva said attendance was brisk, with weekdays more popular than weekends. Over the summer, staff observed a high of 200 children entering the park while numbers dropped off when air quality advisory warnings went out in August due to wildfires in other parts of B.C.

The concept is based on emerging research that has found young people benefit from free and independent play, learning how to think critically and develop creativity while identifying hazards and assessing risks.

"Adventure playgrounds provide environments for children to explore with minimal adult guidance and intervention," said a staff report. "Parents and caregivers are encouraged to observe their children from outside the play area while children build, create and alter the space as they choose."

For more information about the playground, go to coquitlam.ca/adventureplayground.

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