BCAA wants public’s help deciding winner of $100,000 play area revitalization

Five finalists selected from Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Kootenays and the Thompson Okanagan

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A community that comes together can do amazing things. At least that’s the lesson many neighbourhoods across the province are learning as finalists are announced for BCAA Play Here.

The multi-year, community investment initiative aims to protect kids in B.C. by rejuvenating play areas to make them safer and even more enjoyable for families. This year’s winner will receive revitalizations worth up to $100,000.

Since the launch, BCAA has received hundreds of nominations from across B.C., and of all types – splash pads, skate parks, community centres, playgrounds, and many more.

Take the Torquay Elementary playground on Vancouver Island. Seven months ago, the wooden play structure at the school was deemed unsafe and removed. All that remains is a large space with an old wood chip base and a few old tires chained together, leaving little for kids to do.

Or how about the Crawford Bay Community Park in the Kootenays? The community wants to revitalize the current playground to feature a climbing structure, pathways that connect different areas, space for outdoor music, native vegetation, and much more.

In Vancouver, General Brock Elementary believes its plan for an upgraded playground will help students perform better in class by giving them the opportunity to play, be social, and burn off energy before school, and during lunch and recess.

In Burnaby, the Windsor area is a diverse ethnic and mixed socio-economic community with plenty of growing families. The community wants to revitalize the Windsor Elementary playground to create a place for children of all backgrounds to interact.

Nominations have even spread to include sporting areas, gardens, and sprawling fields, like the Lillooet REC Centre playground in the Thompson-Okanagan. The open lawn space is a focal point of the community and is regularly used to host events. All they are missing is a playground.

These five fantastic finalists are all in the running to win the grand prize. Now, BCAA needs the public’s help to find the project for its play area revitalization project. Judges have worked hard to narrow down the final five, and it’s your turn to help decide who will receive an upgrade worth up to $100,000.

B.C. residents are eligible to vote once per day. Voting closes June 29 with the winner announced July 11. As you look to cast your vote, remember that a place where kids can spend their time and develop valuable life skills is a place worth rallying for. Gather your community together and vote every day to help take the project you support to the finish line. Remember, you must be 18+ to vote.

To do so, visit bcaaplayhere.com

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