The City of Abbotsford awarded the newly-renovated Grant Park (British Columbia) with the Parks Excellence Award from the BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) last May 5, 2022.
Reopened in 2020, Grant Park became Abbotsford’s first inclusive park to win the award for exemplifying how innovative recreation, parks, and culture can contribute to the quality of life in a community, according to the report.
The former sports field was entirely repurposed into an all-in-one amenity and purposely focused on accessibility. The new park design included a wheelchair-friendly synthetic baseball field, accessible year-round washrooms, a picnic shelter, and an inclusive playground for all children.
It also has eight additional accessible parking spaces next to the facilities.
“Building a complete community, where all residents feel encouraged and able to participate is one of the key goals for us as a City,” said Mayor Henry Braun. “Grant Park, and all it offers by means of accessibility and inclusivity, is an example of what can be achieved when we work together to remove barriers. I am very proud of the Parks, Recreation and Culture team for their dedication to making Abbotsford a more accessible place.”
Abbotsford partnered with the Abbotsford Angels Baseball Association, Blue Jay’s Care Foundation, and the Abbotsford 2016 BC Summer Games Legacy Association to redevelop the park.
They also consulted with the Abbotsford Diverse Abilities Committee and an occupational therapist with the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre to ensure all park elements would be accessible for all. The insight and feedback received through community input helped ensure the park would meet the real needs of everyone in the community.
To learn about parks and playgrounds in the City of Abbotsford, visit www.abbotsford.ca/parks-recreation-culture/parks-trees-trails/parks-playgrounds.
This article originally appeared on Fraser Valley News.