There’s not much sign in the slushy, melting snow that people have even attempted to make the trek into Thorncliffe’s quiet community playground.
Many will remember tall, steel slides from their childhood. At least one, albeit rusted, slide remains alongside a rickety teeter-totter, rusty spring horse, and old swings at 5600 Centre St. N.E.
“It’s usually pretty deserted… I don’t know if everything is safe,” said Amanda Ocampo, who is now spearheading a project to reinvent the tired park.
She and another Calgary mom created the Thorncliffe Greenview Community Accessible Playground initiative, which quickly turned into a half-million-dollar project.
“I thought: I live in this area, I have two little kids. I thought… we should have a big playground,” Ocampo said.
The playground has now seen support from a number of local businesses, charities and community associations, as well as the Calgary Park Foundation (CPF).
CPF has helped launch about 150 similar community-led projects in the past, with about 15 currently underway.
Ocampo said they have hosted a number of fundraising events, including an auction and a dance. They are now halfway to their goal: to create a new community hub with accessible pathways, gardens, a sensory slide and a unique zip-line.
The city plans to demolish the existing playground in August, making way for plans to break ground on the new project come fall.