A Play Box at Bakerview Park in South Surrey. (Photo: Alex Wilks)

‘It’s all about sharing,’ families take ownership of new playboxes at Surrey Parks

The City of Surrey has provided seven parks with big boxes stocked with sports equipment and games for the summer.

By Alex Wilks/Now-Leader contributor

The City of Surrey has provided seven parks with big boxes stocked with sports equipment and games for the summer.

“The whole point of the initiative is to get people active, get people moving,” explains Community Services Coordinator, Erin Balmer.

In collaboration with the Fraser Health Authority and SCOPE BC, Live 5210 Playboxes have been placed strategically in different parks across the city — Holly Park, Bridgeview Community Centre, Starr Park, Maple Green Park, Bakerview Park, T.E. Scott Park and Panorama Village Park.

“The original idea actually came from an organization called SCOPE and it came from the Live 5210 initiative that we kind of adopted through our Healthy Communities Partnership,” said Balmer. “We received funding through Fraser Health…and the City of Surrey took the lead.”

Each box contains a variety of items and equipment including basketballs, soccer balls, skipping ropes, sidewalk chalk, Frisbees, hula hoops and playground balls; however the items available will change with the season, she adds.

Sponsors included VOLO Athletics, KMS Tools, Big Kahuna Sport Company and The Surrey Firefighters Charitable Society which contributed in supplying sports equipment, locks and the tool boxes.

“Playboxes can be different everywhere,” said Balmer. “We didn’t want the Playboxes to be one set standard. In some locations we have sand toys and we have other play equipment that is more appropriate to more passive parks.”

Access to the boxes launched in March and more than 250 families have already put the equipment to good use.

“It’s all about sharing,” Balmer said. “Some parks have been really busy. We have one Starr Park in Cloverdale, super busy, so usually it’s left open the entire afternoon and families are just using the equipment. Families are even putting their own stuff inside the boxes which is totally awesome.”

“Some families have really taken ownership of it and they just leave it open and hold each other accountable.”

The City Parks Department maintains and cleans the boxes weekly in order to make sure that items being put back into the boxes are safe for the community.

“What I love about it is when you look at Facebook and you look at the social media people are super excited about it. They are now telling other municipalities and other parks boards and other provinces to take on the initiative,” adds Balmer.

Anyone is able to register for free access to the Playbox by emailing a request to beactive@surrey.ca, registering at a local recreation centre or by calling the call centre at (604) 501-5100. Once the request is confirmed a code is given to unlock the box, which is accessible from dawn to dusk.

Just Posted

Former city clerk Jane Sullivan remembered for her dedication to Surrey

Terminal illness claims ‘consummate professional’ who brought warmth to city hall

MADD Canada’s anti-impaired driving campaign coming to Surrey school

The ‘hard-hitting’ program is descending on schools across the country

Four teams left standing in fight for Surrey RCMP Classic basketball championship

School squads in all-Surrey tourney prep for Friday semifinals at Enver Creek gym

South Surrey woman mastering the stuff that matters

KonMari method, developed in Japan, draws on heart connection

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Overtime heroics help Giants to victory State-side

The Lower Mainland’s premier major junior hockey team earned a victory Wednesday over the Americans.

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Prince George could get province’s second BC Cannabis Store

The first brick-and-mortar government retail location opened in Kamloops on Oct. 17

B.C. chowdery caught up in ‘rat-in-soup’ scandal to close

Crab Park Chowdery will be shutting down Jan. 20

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

Caribou herd disappears from Kootenays after last cow relocated

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Vancouver councillors unanimously approve motion declaring climate emergency

Vancouver joins cities like Los Angeles and London

B.C. mayor criticizes school trustees ahead of paid trip to China

Brad West believes trip is unethical, and points to added safety concerns as relations grow tense

Most Read