The Comox Valley Child Development Association is renovating its outdoor play space. The intention is to create a natural sensory environment for play and therapy. The space is used mainly by a team at The Autism Program (TAP), located directly off of the Comox Valley Autism Centre.
Early Intervention Therapy programs including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology are located next door. The upgrades will expand therapy sessions outdoors.
The improved outdoor space with specialty play equipment, obstacles and sensory features will provide a more naturalistic, ‘fun’ environment to assist in motivating children through challenging tasks.
The first phase of construction involves excavating, landscaping and repurposing outdoor storage. The future phase will add some of the more nuanced therapy ‘equipment/tools’ such as sensory play panels and raised garden beds.
“We have been so fortunate to have the support of the community in bringing this rejuvenation project to life,” a news release states.
Long-time partners through the play space upgrades has been Comox Valley McDonald’s Restaurants and their annual McHappy Day fundraiser. Local owners Jess and Stuart Aldred made a large financial contribution early in the conception phase of the project to see it through to completion.
Since those early days, the project has evolved and grown in scope. It now has the support of Courtenay Rotary, financially and through volunteer labour hours. As a Rotary representative, Chris Swift is the project leader.
Peter Ashmore has also been an invaluable resource providing consulting services from the early stages of planning, and leading focus groups. He has continually been involved at every stage right down to assisting the CVCDA with sourcing
and/or building the right equipment to complete the space.
The CVCDA is again working with construction partner, Lacasse Construction. Owner Cale Lacasse and his team has consulted on the project as needed. Other local businesses, including Hyland Precast and Pilon Tool Rentals, have contributed materials, equipment, supplies and labour.
The project will be completed this summer.