Tuesday June 19th marked the grand opening of the new Sensory and Adventure Playground at Bellevue Park. This was the first new major playground expansion at the park since 2003.
The project represented a true community effort. Federal funding was provided through the Enabling Accessibilities Grant program. The Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie donated an initial $10,000 for the Sensory Park and then a further $80,000 to add the Adventure Playground component.
Also making financial contributions to the playground were the Algoma Autism Foundation and Community Living Algoma. The City of Sault Ste. Marie provided the labour to prepare the site and install the new play equipment. Workers on the project included staff from the Parks and Carpentry Divisions of Public Works and Engineering, the Recreation and Culture Division of Community Services, and many summer students. The construction team worked tirelessly to ensure that the site was ready for the grand opening.
The new playground includes several pieces of equipment that are being introduced into the City’s parks system for the first time, including Rhapsody Outdoor Musical Instruments and the Double Bay ZipKrooz zipline. Many of the pieces have a special appeal for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and are designed to encourage exploration and interactivity.
Speakers at the opening ceremony included Mayor Provenzano, Member of Parliament Terry Sheehan and Melinda Mills and Derek Walz of the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie. Afterwards, the large crowd enjoyed refreshments and a barbecue, while the younger guests in attendance put the new playground through its paces!