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Banff Rotary Club raising $500K for new all-inclusive park

“We want to create a place that offers people somewhere that they’re really comfortable and really happy to be.”

BANFF – The Rotary Club of Banff is trying to raise about $500,000 for a new all-inclusive playground.

The club, which established and built Rotary Park in 1978, has a new vision for the green space on the 500 block of Banff Avenue.

“We are looking at a pretty substantial project,” said Dean Cooper, the Rotary club’s president elect and project lead.

“It’s not just a refurbishment, but an all-inclusive play facility, which will be the only one of its kind in the valley.”

Preliminary design work suggests the playground would have accessible flooring, ground-level musical features, options for swinging, spinning and bouncing, as examples of some of the many ideas.

Established and built as a community park and children’s playground in 1978, Rotary Park was redeveloped in 1992 and then refurbished in 2005. Rotary members say the current features are nearing their end of their life cycle.

Cooper said the idea is to create an area “that we haven’t yet seen in the valley” that caters not only to children and families, but to people of all ages.

He said a shelter for people to use, including for birthdays parties, is also under consideration.

“We know a lot of people are using the park for many reasons; birthday parties, playing at the playground, siting on a bench in the sun for lunch,” Cooper said.

“We want to create a place that offers people somewhere that they’re really comfortable and really happy to be.”

Hugh Pettigrew, who is the Rotary Club of Banff’s president until Cooper takes over in June, said the Rotary Club is carefully planning the project details.

He said the project will require various fundraising activities and have volunteer opportunities, noting preliminary estimates put the cost at about $500,000.

“Our Rotary Club of Banff members are excited that this community project is moving forward,” Pettigrew said.

The club has started its first fundraising campaign – a 50-50 online cash raffle. Ticket sales end on March 15 and the draw date is March 20. Go to Rafflebox.ca to find the 50-50 draw tickets for sale. 

Anyone interested in the project can contact banffrotary@gmail.com