I remember the day my best friend Sheila and I, found a five dollar bill in a wallet with no ID. We plotted our adventure and came back the next week. That Saturday we rode our bikes all the way down to Home Hardware which was much further than we were allowed to go, and then we stopped at the park on the way back to peruse our purchases. It was the best place to share secrets.
Some Fridays after school my Mom visited a lady nearby named Mary and while they talked boring grownup stuff and shared tea we built worlds out of our imaginations and shared dreams. Sometimes we met new friends and practices our social skills. We just thought we were having fun.
|My Mom just last Mother’s Day 2012, my brother, my niece and my daughter Payton at Gibbons Park|
Over the last few years I’ve had a lot of great times at parks, and strangely a lot of debates about the importance of parks and playground spaces. Sometimes the debate goes like this: kids don’t need stuff and equipment, just give them a backyard and a ball to play and they can be creative. That might be true for a very small segment of the kid population, but I believe most kids and families benefit from playgrounds, parks and equipment and splash pads and open spaces and nature. Maybe throw in a ball or two too. In my childhood, playgrounds were important canvases to build our imagination, grow our social skills, strengthen large and fine motor skills and share secrets.
In the last couple of years, playgrounds and parks have been the backdrop for summers off school, and fun family celebrations. Those times are precious now as with each passing year the kids grow so much bigger, and older members of our family get frailer and less able to join in the celebrations.
Right now you can nominate a community park in your neighbourhood for the Kraft Celebration Tour. The Kraft Celebration Tour recognizes the passion and community spirit that brings people together and promotes healthy, active lifestyles. Since 2009, the Kraft Celebration Tour has helped hundreds of thousands of Canadians in 40 deserving communities with a total of $1 million toward projects such as:
- Building a skateboard park
- Upgrading a sports field
- Improving a boxing facility
- Renovating a community youth centre