Zoe Quaite

Playground in Bluffton becomes a reality

The Bluffton Chamber of Commerce may have spearheaded the new community playground

The Bluffton Chamber of Commerce may have spearheaded the new community playground, but the spreading of the gravel was definitely a community project.

The playground, which has been in the works for about four years, was finally set up last Thursday (May 15).

A ribbon cutting and potluck was held in honor of the event.

Despite gale force winds, young and old alike grabbed shovels and wheelbarrows to spread the gravel base.

Dressed in a bulky sweater to combat the wind, Irene Lovell, chamber president, was busy preparing the potluck and generally overseeing the whole operation, smiling all the while.

Tim Aylesworth, Southern Alberta Territory Manager for Park N Play Design Co. Inc. was on the site earlier in the week.

He said a playground such as the one in Bluffton simply wouldn’t happen if the community didn’t come together.

“I’m impressed with how people come together to make it work,’ he said. “In a lot of cases projects like this don’t happen (if people don’t work together.)”

The new playground, built on a 67 by 69 square piece of land, includes swings, a merry-go-all, slide, monkey bars, a critter climber, a sky runner and a tot area. The cost of the project was more than $50,000.

Frank Kurta said the equipment, which was set up previously had to be removed as it was made of treated wood.

Kurta gave credit to volunteers from Conoco Phillips for their help with the playground.

“They have been really good at helping out,” he said.

Ponoka County also donated funding, community volunteers assisted and students from West Country Outreach lent a hand as well.

“We’ve had lots of help,” said Kurta.

Gail Cornell, who grew up in Bluffton and now has children who will, no doubt, access the playground said she is pleased to see it all coming together.

“I’m excited for sure,” she said. “It will be great for the community.”

Ponoka County Reeve Paul McLauchlin also attended the ribbon cutting and potluck on Thursday.

“This is a perfect example of a community having a vision to do something for themselves,” he said.