Businesses and community groups in St. Andrews are rallying to save a unique park that was built 20 years ago in the southwestern town but no longer meets modern safety standards.

The St. Andrews Creative Playground has a special history that people in the resort town are now trying to safeguard for future generations.

In1992, staff at Vincent Massey Elementary School were tearing down pieces of playground equipment that were deemed too dangerous.

So Robert Leathers, a New York architect who worked on playgrounds worldwide, was brought in, students offered design ideas for a new park and then hundreds of local volunteers helped build it in a five-day span.


The St. Andrews Creative Playground was built 20 years ago and now community and business groups are trying to raise money to upgrade it to meet modern safety standards. (Neville Crabbe/CBC)

Now, the unique maze of wooden walkways slides and monkey bars remain popular with children in the community, but they are facing their own demise.

The peaked tops need to be replaced and the chain climbing ropes no longer meet current safety guidelines.

Giselle Neil, the project co-ordinator, said the groups looking to save the playground have a lot of work in front of them.

"All the decking and anything that the children touch has to be changed," she said.

"If we left it another one or two years, definitely we would not have a choice anymore and we would have to bulldoze it down and put up a new one," she added.

In the same spirit that created the playground two decades ago, community groups are pitching in to rebuild the playground.

The local Kiwanis club handed over a $11,000 cheque on Thursday to be used on the playground’s upgrades.

The estimated cost of rebuilding the playground to meet current safety standards is $120,000.

The Kiwanis club was the first group to come forward with cash.

But Andrew Lively, the president of the Kiwanis club, said he believes the playground project is a cause the town will rally behind.

"I think the business community recognizes the importance of having a safe place for our kids to play and I believe that they will join in," Lively said.

The group behind the project has already set reconstruction dates for the end of September. But before that process can happen, the group needs more people to step forward with donations.