Children in Comox Valley benefit from federal grant

A vacant lot behind the Comox Valley Child Development Association that serves double duty for families was officially unveiled Wednesday.

A vacant lot behind the Comox Valley Child Development Association that now serves double duty for families who use the association’s services was officially unveiled Wednesday.

The lot, which is now owned by the association, is home to an accessible parking area and a play project — a grassy, fenced area for children to use for learning and development.

The projects came about thanks to a grant from the Government of Canada’ Enabling Accessibility Fund and local fundraising, said Lorraine Aitken, executive direction with CVCDA.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to have this official opening. We have been waiting a long time to bring this together,” she said. “What this means is that we’re going to have safe, off-street parking to families and visitors to our centre and particularly for people with access challenges.”

Aitken added the association is also excited to unveil the outdoor play area.

“We haven’t had an outdoor play area since we’ve been in this location, which is close to 10 years, so we’re thrilled because what this means is that we have a place for therapy programs to work with families and children in a natural, outdoor play environment … so that families can learn strategies that they can use at home or in their own playground.”

Accessibility has been a major issue for us for a number of years, and especially safe, off-street parking, she explained.

“This is something that we’ve been working on for about 10 years, and it finally came together.”

Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan also was on hand to mark the occasion.

“This is great news, and it’s a great project for so many reasons,” he said. “The (Enabling Accessibility Fund) has been so successful. It is not only creating a legacy, a nice infrastructure, but it’s improving quality of life and doing all the right things.”

CVCDA provides services for children with developmental delays and disabilities including physical, cognitive, communication, social/emotional and behavioural needs.

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