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A new inclusive playground officially opened at Westfield Elementary School on Sept. 21, 2022. Image: Tim Herd

Inclusive Accessible Playground Opens At Local School

By Tim Herd Sep 22, 2022 | 5:53 AM

Students at Westfield Elementary School have been enjoying a new inclusive accessible playground.

A grand opening of the new playground was held at the Grand Bay-Westfield school on Wednesday evening.

Organizers fundraised for the playground for seven years and received several donations.

“We raised about $270,000. Probably about 80 per cent of that was funded through grants that we applied and received,” said Cindy MacCready, president of the Westfield Home and School Association.

MacCready said the association received $140,000 from the province’s Regional Development Corporation and $40,000 from the federal government.

They also received a $44,000 donation from the Crane Mountain Landfill.

“It’s just really hard to describe how excited I am. This is seven years in the making and I am so proud to have this for our school and our community,” MacCready added.

Over the summer, there was a soft opening for the playground.

“We did have a little bit of a soft opening and that’s where I got to see the excitement because some of our families that have been pushing for something more inclusive got to come and see it for the first time and see their kids on it,” said Louise Johnson, the school’s principal.

Johnson added that construction of the playground was slowed due to the pandemic, but she is glad it is now open so students and the community can enjoy it.

“Getting [supplies] to come here was not an easy feat, plus even during COVID, the fundraising kind of had to turn in all different directions,” she said.


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