It’s time for the City of Saskatoon to pay for new playgrounds.
Many neighbourhoods in Ward 9 are facing the challenge of replacing outdated play structures in their parks and schoolyards. In Rosewood, the new schools will open next year without playgrounds. In Lakeridge, the community is now trying to fundraise for a second needed playground structure.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the City’s new report about the dire state of playgrounds. I said: “It will take us years to fully restore our parks and playgrounds, but we must begin that work right away”.
The level of deterioration of the City’s playground structures is stark: 44% are deemed to be in poor or very poor condition. This statistic, and other troubling numbers, come from a new City of Saskatoon report and plan, Building Better Parks.
While local groups are often best placed to identify and support specific neighbourhood projects, I believe playgrounds are a fundamental piece of city infrastructure that require funding directly from the City.
At a minimum, the City should contemplate the creation of a matching-donation formula, where the City would match funds raised for new playground equipment by community groups. This would help neighborhoods in their fundraising efforts, and compress fundraising timelines.