Playgrounds are a public space, but often it's the parent's purse that keeps them up to date. 
 
There are more than 200 playgrounds in Saskatoon, but every year there is not enough funding to keep them all in good standing. 

Rather than accepting the reality of splinters in kids' hands from wooden monkey bars, it's often the parent that is taking on the duty of making sure these public facilities get updated. 

'I guess we just came to the fact that it was up to us; the committee, our community, and generous donors.' - Lariene Blackburn, Prince Philip playground committee

Lariene Blackburn is one parent who took matters into her own hands.  

It has been almost five years since Blackburn raised money to replace the aging play facility at the Prince Philip Public School in Saskatoon.

Blackburn and the playground committee did their own fundraising and raised more than $300,000 over two years. 

"It was a big, big job," Blackburn said. 

The money came from local businesses, fundraising events and grants. With the money, the committee was able to pay for new equipment, installation and a rubberised flooring.  

Despite it being a public facility, Blackburn said there was little resistance from people in the community about taking the project on themselves. 

"I guess we just came to the fact that it was up to us; the committee, our community, and generous donors."

Parents continue taking on projects

Liz Allen is currently going through the same process with the Lakeview playground. 

She said with a school of 600 kids, there were just two basketball hoops and inadequate facilities. 

She helped form a committee which has already put in a new tarmac and four basketball hoops. This summer, the committee plans to install three pieces of playground equipment. The total budget is $130,000. 

Allen said so far the committee has done 19 fundraisers, applied to 30 grants and contacted over 100 businesses.

"It's been a part-time job for two and a half years. There's certainly a lot of people that have given up a lot of their time and a tremendous amount of energy to make this happen," Allen said. 

Allen said she can't think of any other public space where the reliance is on volunteers to fundraise for it. She said most people probably don't realize that it's the case, either. 

"I think if you were to ask the average citizen they would probably think their tax dollars are supporting playgrounds," she said.

The Lakeview playground is set to reopen this September.