Jarvis Traditional Elementary gets a new playground and new rain garden

May 23, 2014

Several years ago, the intermediate playground at Jarvis Traditional Elementary School in North Delta had to be removed because it was too run down. It was shortly after that a group of parents at the school were standing outside at the school and talking about how they could help with improvements at the school – they immediately thought of the need for a new playground to replace the torn down one.

“We decided it was our priority,” said Dana Scanlan, President of the Parent Advisory Council at the school. “So we started fundraising.”

It took roughly three years of organizing school fairs, Diwali celebrations and the like, and hundreds of parent volunteer hours to be able to raise enough money.

“We had a lot of fun raising the money, but it was a lot of work,” said Scalan. “ But if was all worth it. Look at what happens when we come together as a community!”

The parents raised roughly $27,000 and via a partnership between the Corporation of Delta and the Delta School District the municipality invested $24,000 into building a new playground for the school.

“Council recognizes that playgrounds are very important for children’s social development, as it is there they get a chance to play, socialize and meet new friends”, said Delta Mayor Lois E. Jackson.  “Playgrounds also play a significant role in the fabric of our community.”

In addition to the $51,540 price tag, the parents at the school put in the manpower to install the new playground. In-kind manpower was also provided by the Delta School District to ready the site for the playground installation.

“Playgrounds are a perfect fit with our Delta School District vision for success,” said Dianne Turner, Superintendent, Delta School District. “They are en extension of the classroom, an outdoor classroom space, provide physical activity which helps stimulate learning, and they are part of the broader community as well, being used not only by school children but also by families throughout the community.”

In addition to the new playground, which is geared at students in grades 4-7, there is also a brand new raingarden at the front of the school to be enjoyed by all students, staff, parents and the community. Again, the Corporation of Delta, the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers and the Delta School District have a partnership to install raingardens at schools.

“How wonderful to be celebrating the opening of the new playground and the new raingarden together,” said Debora Jones of the Cougar Creek Streamkeepers. “The playground is a habitat for students and the raingarden is a habitat for insect, birds and other wildlife. Both are meant to encourage healthy environments.”

To celebrate the new playground and raingarden, the school held a special assembly, did an official ribbon cutting and then the kids were able to get outside and enjoy the new elements of their school.