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    East Glen Park Barrier-Free Playground (Old Water Tower) 

    We are excited about this upcoming project. Westlock's first barrier-free accessible playground will be a playspace for all children to feel welcome, inspired, included, and happy. Inclusive playgrounds remove boundaries with safe and fun equipment that allows all children to feel independent, smart, comfortable and active.

    East Glen Park (bottom left)

    East Glen Park (2023)

    Seven Principles of Accessible Playground Design

    • FAIR: Equitable opportunities for physical, cognitive, communication, social/emotional, and sensory play
    • ACCESSIBLE: Access flexibility by way of ramps, climbers, links, transfer platforms
    • SMART: Simple and intuitive design that has behavioural cues, sensory feedback, well-organized play patterns, clear expectations
    • INDEPENDENT: Individual exploration that includes accessible surfaces, accessible routes, slide transfers
    • SAFE: Safety standards and comfort in supervision areas, clear visibility, cozy spots, jump-in points
    • ACTIVE: Accommodate diverse needs for sustained physical activity, cooperation, socialization
    • COMFORTABLE: Space for movement and gathering for diverse sensory needs, comfortable approach and reach, environmental relief

    Meet Bobbie Byrt

    Bobbie was born with a rare birth defect, an omphalocele, and a genetic variant that is unique to only her. She was diagnosed with Early Developmental Impairment shortly after birth which affects her both physically and cognitively. Currently, Bobbie feeds with a G-Tube, walks using an assistive walking device and requires additional harnesses while sitting in chairs.

    Despite these delays, Bobbie is incredibly social and loves spending time playing and laughing amongst her peers. A visit to the playground for Bobbie generally includes someone holding her in their arms every step of the way. However, an inclusive playground with wheel-friendly terrain and wide walkways would allow her to navigate independently in her walker while playing with her friends. Supportive swings with additional harnesses would keep Bobbie securely strapped in and support her low muscle tone while swinging. Interactive games and manipulatives fastened to the walls of walkways would keep her engaged while making her way through the play structure.

    Time after time Bobbie has shown us that when she’s given opportunities to participate she will grow! This has been true in regards to speech, oral feeding, social interaction, and fine and gross motor skills. A playground is a place to learn through play, gain independence, explore, and let creativity blossom. For kids like Bobbie, having an inclusive playground in Westlock is offering them an opportunity to do just that.

    Our thanks to the Byrt family for sharing their story.
    ~Town of Westlock

    Project Details

    Phase OneSpring/Summer 2024

    Planning and Fundraising

    The Town of Westlock has budgeted $300,000 for the playground. We are currently applying for grants and canvassing for donations to help us reach the goal.

    How much do we anticipate the playground to cost?

    • $250,000 - $300,000 playground structure
    • $91,800 installation
    • $54,400 rubber surfacing, concrete
    • Estimated Cost: $446,200* initial costs are estimates and are subject to change due to design elements selected, scale and scope of installation

    Phase TwoFall 2024

    Site Preparation

    • Concrete and asphalt work to commence in the Fall.

    Phase ThreeEarly 2025

    • Project goes out to Tender Winter 2025

    Phase FourSpring/Summer 2025

    • Playground build/installation

    *Timelines are tentative and may be adjusted due to weather conditions and other external factors beyond our control, such as supply chain disruptions, regulatory changes, or unforeseen site conditions.


    Call: 780-349-4444 | Email:

    Commonly Asked Questions

    What do we mean by Playground for All?

    A playground that is designed to meet the needs of children of all abilities. It incorporates play equipment that addresses diverse needs and fosters a nurturing environment by removing physical and social barriers. It welcomes children with and without disabilities, regardless of age, gender, and social background, ensuring that every child has the right to play and feel included.

    What's the difference between accessibility and inclusion?

    • Accessibility ensures that getting into and around the playground is possible and meets minimum requirements. 
    • Inclusion goes further by engaging everyone together, regardless of ability level.

    Why is this important in playground design?

    Inclusive playgrounds offer numerous benefits for all children, including:

    • Encouraging acceptance and empathy
    • Boosting self-esteem
    • Promoting a sense of community
    • Meeting individuals where they are, allowing differences and skill levels to fade away, enabling meaningful play
    • Serving as educational tools, teaching children about diversity from a young age
    • Building a better future for Westlock and its visitors by providing a gathering space for all

    Why do we need a Playground for All?

    The nearest barrier-free playground is an hour away by car, causing families and caregivers to travel outside the community. We have an opportunity to create a welcoming play space for our local families with the added benefit of a barrier-free playground being a regional destination playground.

    Why East Glen Park?

    A 2020 playground audit rated all existing playgrounds and determined the order for replacement. East Glen Playground is next in line for replacement. It was constructed in 2000 and is now at the end of its useful life. East Glen Park is ideal for this project due to several factors:

    • Location away from busy highways
    • Ample parking
    • Flat surface area with considerable space
    • Proximity to neighbourhood homes
    • Picnic space for families to enjoy the playground year-round

    Why not build a splash park?

    • A splash park is only usable for a brief period of time, three months at most, compared to a playground that is open all year round. 
    • Winter maintenance of splash parks involves additional expenses beyond those associated with a playground. These include operational costs during active months and specific winterizing measures to protect the facilities during the off-season.
    • The nearest barrier-free playground is an hour away so there is a need within our community and the entire region for an accessible playground.

    How can you help?

    • Monetary donations
      • Cheques payable to Town of Westlock or credit card donations are eligible for a tax receipt under certain conditions.
    • In-kind services
      • Services related to building a playground, including excavation, landscaping, bordering, fencing, site facilities, or other services.
    • Volunteers
      • It takes a lot of hours to get a playground up and running, so contact us to find out how you can get involved.
    • Other
      • Let’s chat about other types of sponsoring. Do you want to name the playground? Do you want to sponsor a specific feature or piece of equipment? If you want to be involved, contact us to discuss your ideas.

    Donations are eligible for 

    • Acknowledgement of the sponsorship through a news release
    • Public thank you advertisement
    • Charitable tax receipt*
      *All charitable donations made are eligible for tax receipts. Please note that tax receipts will be automatically issued for donations of $20 or more. For donations under $20, tax receipts will be issued upon request. Please keep your donation confirmations to help us issue the requested tax receipts.

    How Can I Provide Feedback?

    We value your input! The Town aims to enhance inclusion by involving and welcoming people to share their experiences and viewpoints. Insights from children with disabilities, families, and community organizations are crucial for the playground's design.

    When providing feedback, please consider the following:

    • What aspects of a playground work for you or your child?
    • What aspects of the surrounding environment work for you or your child?
    • What barrier-free design components would you like to see included?

     Your feedback is essential in creating a playground that meets the needs of all community members. 

    Email us your thoughts.