New Brunswick

Centennial Park makeover produces natural playground

A section of Moncton's Centennial Park is getting a facelift on Thursday.

Volunteers create playground that features things like a giant log teeter-totter — and dirt

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      A section of Moncton's Centennial Park is getting a facelift on Thursday, being turned into a playground in a one-day makeover.

      The natural playground is build using materials, such as logs and dirt, with no plastic swings or metal monkey bars to be found.

      Nicole Wells, a volunteer, said she thinks children will have a great time exploring natural elements.

      "I think when you put them out into nature, think about all the things they can bring from the woods," said Wells, who is one of 150 volunteers from the Tangerine financial institution that helped on the project.

      "I lived in a place once where they used sticks to make forts all the time," she said.

      "Just being outside and away from screens and technology and being able to get all that energy out in a natural environment is a great place to be."

      The City of Moncton and Bienstock Playgrounds was also involved, with the city and Tangerine splitting the $150,000 cost of the project.

      Dan Hicks, Moncton's director of operations for parks and leisure services, says one of the key features is a massive teeter-totter made from a log.

      "it's pretty awesome," said Hicks.

      "I think it's roughly 30 feet long and you can fit — I don't know how many people you can fit on it — but as many as you can fit on it, they'll have fun."

      Hicks says there are lots of things to keep children entertained.

      "We've got a slide built into a hill, we've got a little area set up that's like an amphitheatre so you could do some outdoor classes," he said.

      "A lot of the stuff we put in here are stuff that we think they are, but trust me when the kids get here they'll tell us what it really is."

      Heavy equipment work was done ahead of time, allowing the volunteers to piece together the playground Thursday after arriving on the scene and getting right to work.

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