KENTVILLE, NS - Thanks to a collaborative effort, play equipment has been made readily accessible to children and families using Kentville’s parks.
The Town of Kentville and the Kings County Family Resource Centre (KCFRC) officially launched the Kentville Playboxes initiative at Memorial Park on June 7.
There is a playbox located at Memorial Park and another at Oakdene Park. A third box will soon be added in another location. The KCFRC incorporates a lot of outdoor play into its programming. The town partners with the KCFRC on a program at Oakdene, where the playbox is used to store the equipment.
“We’re partnering with the Town of Kentville because we value the importance of play and connecting people to their community,” KCFRC executive director Melissa Connell said.
The playboxes were created using a grant from the provincial Department of Community, Culture and Heritage and are an expansion of the Kentville Plays initiative launched last November.
Town of Kentville Parks and Recreation director Rachel Bedingfield said the community was at the centre of the creation of these boxes.
“Play is so important for our development,” she said. “Communities that play together tend to thrive and grow together.”
Town of Kentville active living community coordinator Julia Stephenson said they’re excited to be partnering with the KCFRC to establish the playboxes and are appreciative of the provincial funding support. It will help make play accessible for all people who live and recreate in Kentville. Stephenson said they also appreciate the community’s help in taking care of this new resource.
“When you’re finished playing with some or all of the awesome items in the box, simply make sure you put everything back and close the lid,” Stephenson said. “We encourage folks to use the boxes and to have fun in your parks.”
Stephenson said each box features different play equipment and the summer equipment will be swapped for winter equipment as the season changes. The playbox at Memorial Park currently contains soccer balls, baseballs, footballs, skipping ropes, pylons, Frisbees and lawn bowling, botchy and croquet equipment.
She said there is a similar playbox program in British Columbia but the boxes there are kept locked. Stephenson said they want to leave the boxes open to increase accessibility.
She said people could donate lightly used or new equipment to add more variety to the playboxes, which also contain contact information.
For more information on the playboxes and how they work, visit www.kentville.ca/recreation/kentville-plays/playboxes/.