LHCA pledges $10,000 to playground renewal project

The Lawson Heights Community Association has pledged $10,000 in support of the playground renewal project at Lawson Heights elementary school.

“Rochdale Park is the centre of our neighbourhood and the playgrounds are such an important component of a healthy community. Much like planting trees in the park, this new playground is a generational gift. It is a gift to our children and the kids yet to come in our neighbourhood.”

Richard Medernach, LHCA President

Rochdale park has undergone a few renovations recently. The City undertook an irrigation and drainage improvement project in 2018, and about 20 trees were planted in the park in 2020.  One of the ongoing priorities of the LHCA is encourage active use of outdoor spaces in the neighbourhood.

Medernach added “the [LHCA] Board feels that the local playgrounds are like outdoor community centres where children and families are able to gather and get to know each other. These important play structures encourage mental, physical, and social health in the neighbourhood.”

The Lawson Heights Home and School Council at Lawson Heights Elementary, began fundraising in the fall of 2018 for a new playground to replace the current structure which was built in 1987 on city land beside Lawson Heights School.  In order to build the new playground, $220,000 will need to be raised. The projected construction date is Spring 2023.

The current playground has served the community well for decades but is showing its age.

“Having a new playground at our school will create a space for our children to play, imagine, explore, and move outside. Play is the work of children and having a space that fosters this work will generate many opportunities for emotional, physical and cognitive growth while also creating a space for joy and laughter.”

Jennifer Brokofsky, principal of Lawson Heights School

Randy Donauer, City Councillor for Ward 5, offered his gratitude on behalf of the City. “I wish to thank the Lawson Heights Community Association for their generous donation of $10,000 for a new playground at Lawson Heights Elementary School.  The parents’ association has been fundraising diligently for some time, and this donation will help to achieve their goal.  When all of us pitch in to make projects like this a success, it helps make our community stronger and provides new amenities for the kids.  Thank you to the parents’ association, and to the LHCA for all you do.”

Artist’s rendition of the new playground with improved accessibility and safety.

While the LHCA is happy to be making a significant contribution, Medernach notes there is much work yet to do. “We are hopeful that our donation to the campaign will inspire local businesses and residents to support the project. In addition to our initial donation, the LHCA looks forward to supporting other fundraising efforts for the playground in the next couple of years.”

Businesses and community members can support the project by donating through the Saskatoon Public School Foundation. Tax receipts are available.

Companies or organizations interested in named sponsorship opportunities can contact lawsonheightshomeandschool@outlook.com for a sponsorship package and more information about the project.