Children visiting Whistler Resort will always remember the 2010 Olympics thanks to an accessible Playground

Treehouse
Treehouse
Roller Slide
Roller Slide

In June 2009, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) signed an agreement with 2010 Legacies Now to build an accessible playground at Whistler Medals Plaza. This playground, designed in part by Shane’s Inspiration (a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children with disabilities), is funded through a partnership of the Province of British Columbia, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada, the Let’s Play Project (a joint initiative of the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Province of British Columbia), and 2010 Legacies Now.

Overlook
Overlook 

Opened just before the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Whistler’s newest 13,000 square-foot inclusive playground provides play opportunities for all children − meeting the needs of children with disabilities and allowing children to play side‐by‐side with their friends, families and caregivers. Themed “Nature Play, Play

Leaves at Playground
Leaves at Playground

with Nature,” the new playground touches on Whistler’s resort history, outdoor recreation culture and 2010 Winter Games competition environments. The inclusive playground features a wooden play house for children aged up to six years old, and a tree house play structure for those aged seven to 12 years old. Both have weather protection to offer 12 months of safe and sheltered play.

Key design features of the Whistler accessible playground include a multi-sensory wall, which takes its inspiration

Unique Swing
Unique Swing

from the skyline of the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, and a large, accessible tree house inspired by the region’s forests. Other elements include a rope climber similar to the existing rope climber, swings, slide, rubberized surfacing and other equipment. Seating integrated into the design allows parents and kids to sit comfortably, gaze at the mountain views and take it all in.

Child enjoys the new playground
Child enjoys the new playground

The RMOW provided the land space for the playground and a portion of the site is managed by the RMOW through a long-term lease agreement with Tyndal Stone Lodge and Market Place Lodge − the site is being redeveloped with the support of these businesses.

“The accessible playground is one of the many legacies for Whistler brought by hosting the 2010 Olympics and

Children enjoy swinging
Children enjoy swinging

Paralympic Winter Games,” says Mayor Ken Melamed. “We are extremely grateful to our partners, to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Canada, the Rick Hansen Foundation, 2010 Legacies Now and Shane’s Inspiration for their contribution to a safe and fun place where all kids can play for years to come.”

Support for this project comes from a larger ‘Accessible Playground’ program that has provided funding for three world-class accessible playgrounds – one in Whistler, one in Richmond and another at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver. The playgrounds were built in partnership with the City of Richmond, City of Vancouver and Resort Municipality of Whistler, the three venue cities for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

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