The Columbia Valley community is being asked to pitch in as Windermere Child Care Society is hoping to secure approximately $200,000 for a new playground.

There are three parts to (the new playground) right now, explained Jennifer Shaw, fundraising director and parent. We have the infant and toddler area, we have the daycare area and then we have the after-school area for the older kids.

The societys dated playground equipment has encouraged many of the parents to get involved in order to create a legacy for children in the future.

The playground equipment that is there, some of it has duct tape on it, a lot of it has been donated, I think, from the schools that have upgraded their playgrounds, other parts of it have come from parents or garage sales that type of thing, said Ms. Shaw. It really has never had proper playground equipment so were going to start with a clean slate, right from the beginning. Weve designed the three different areas, changing some of the fence lines to make the infant and toddler area bigger, but each section will have a brand new structure.

The additional equipment should create a friendly, fun and safe environment for many of the children from the Columbia Valley who are cared for by the Windermere Child Care Society.

We ended up contracting and told them what we wanted out of their brochures for each playground, she said. They sent us a quote back with all of the designs. We actually designed our own structure for the after-school program because I didnt think what they had was going to fit the needs of what our kids would like to have, so we designed our own for that side. Based on the quote we got, there is some major fundraising that needs to be done for this.

The $200,000 projected cost includes the playground structures, installation, landscaping and fencing.

Were also looking for some volunteers to come down for the weekend (but a date has yet to be confirmed) to help us co-ordinate everything were looking for about 30 volunteers, said Ms. Shaw. We initially wanted to do this as one whole project and do all three pieces at the same time, but I dont think its going to be feasible to get something in the ground for next fall. Im just waiting to hear back about the full quote back for each of the sections, and start with one section at a time and fundraise specific amounts for each piece to be done unless somebodys a miracle worker.

There is currently about $9,000 saved for the project so far, added Ms. Shaw. She said any contribution could make a difference with the project, whether thats in kind donations, volunteering hours, materials or fundraising support.

Volunteers are also needed on the board as well, so theres definitely room to become a great part of this project, concluded Ms. Shaw.

For more information about the project or to make a donation, please contact the Windermere Child Care Society manager Pat Miller at 250-341-8344.