This April, the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) outdoor play space renovation got underway.
The intention for these upgrades and additions is to create a natural sensory environment for play and therapy. Currently, the space is used mainly by the team at The Autism Program (TAP) as it is located directly off of the Comox Valley Autism Centre.
The CVCDA early intervention therapy (EIT) building , right next door offers programs including physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech and language pathology. These programs’ therapists are very much looking forward to the potential the upgrades will bring and to be able to expand their therapy sessions outdoors.
The improved outdoor space complete with specialty play equipment, obstacles and sensory features will provide a more naturalistic, ‘fun’ environment to assist in motivating children through challenging tasks.
So far, through the first phase of construction, the play space has seen some excavating to regrade some of the more unfriendly slopes and make the space more accessible. There has also been the addition of newly built and repurposed outdoor storage, and play structures including some sand play still to come. This phase will be topped off with some fresh landscaping including lush new sod, wood chips for under structures, shrubs and a tree planted to provide some much-needed shade to the space.
The future phase will add some of the more nuanced therapy equipment/tools, such as sensory play panels, a water feature, raised garden beds, a bridge/tunnel and many more fun extras including wheelie toys and loose parts.
“We have been so fortunate to have the support of the community in bringing this rejuvenation project to life,” said CVCDA spokesperson Brooklyn Galloway, in a press release. “A long-time partner with past play space upgrades has been local Comox Valley McDonald’s restaurants and their annual McHappy Day fundraiser. Local owners are once again making a large financial contribution to see us through both phases.
“Additionally, we have had the support of Courtenay Rotary not only financially but also their collaborative support leading the project and volunteering a large number of the labour hours needed to complete the play space.”
For more information, or to keep up to date on the renovations, visit cvcda.ca