The new Jumpstart Inclusive Playground, located in Yellowknife’s Somba K’e Park, is open and already in full swing.

Scott Fraser, president of the charity, thanked Jason and Karen Butorac for their $100,000 donation to help bring the playground to the city.

“Safe and accessible outdoor play spaces for kids of all abilities have never been more important than they are today,” said Fraser. “Thanks to the generosity of local Canadian Tire Dealer Jason Butorac and wife Karen, and our partnership with the city, Yellowknife’s Jumpstart Inclusive Playground will bring play and fun to youth and kids for years to come.”

Response to playground has been positive, with the NWT Disabilities Council being very pleased with the “development and opening.”

“Universal design, whether in recreation, housing, business or services, benefits all members of the community,” said Denise McKee, executive director of the council. “When accessibility is incorporated in a non-obtrusive manner through design, it builds participation, choice and integration.

“We know that all children benefit from unstructured play whether or not they have a disability,” she continued. “When we create inclusive and accessible spaces, like this playground, we create a space where all children can play and grow together. This creates social inclusivity and accessibility, which helps children to see and understand differences, explore and engage in stimulating activities together, build self- esteem and develop cognitive, emotional and social skills.

Mayor Rebecca Alty was also thrilled by the park’s reception since opening.

“I’ve walked by a number of times since it’s opened and it’s great to see how well used and loved it is already,” she said.

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