Community Playgrounds – Qualico Communities thinks outside the (sand)box
A great city is the sum of its parts. As Edmonton continues to grow, new neighbourhoods are being built. These are not just spaces for more housing, but new communities – each with features and attributes that attract buyers, connect citizens, pay homage to history and set sights on the future.
Qualico Communities prioritizes building complete communities. Their neighbourhoods all include amenities that encourage residents to get outside, be active, enjoy nature and meet each other. Community gardens, urban forests, multi-use trails and ponds are all features that can be found in most Qualico Communities. Skating rinks, toboggan hills, basketball courts and playgrounds are prioritized too!
Qualico Communities likes to think outside the (sand)box when it comes to community playgrounds. They do this in a variety of ways. It may be by bringing in a brand-new piece of equipment, highlighting an area area, or putting a spotlight on history. Qualico Communities is a leader in sourcing, planning and building playgrounds that are unlike those around them. One thing is certain – Qualico Communities’ playgrounds all include the WOW factor!
Qualico Communities is making headlines in Fall 2023 by bringing the first ever Yalp Memo to Western Canada! This interactive new feature will be the centrepiece of the playground in the new Marquis neighbourhood. The Yalp Memo is a playing field inset with seven LED posts with arcade-like effects. The play pillars can be used for everything from physical fitness activities to challenges for the mind. Yalp is designing new games regularly. Marquis’ location near the river and destination playground are sure to draw families looking for the right spot to put down roots.
From bees perched on a series of hop-able honeycombs to little owls and woodpeckers hiding in tree trunks, to the cutest little fairy door, the playground at the Uplands at Riverview (West) is like nothing Edmonton has ever seen! But this playground is more than just great aesthetics/ Here you’ll find a well-thought-out array of equipment. There is an appropriately-sized toddler area plus a challenging big kid area. Four popular tandem swings can also be found here – two of which include baby seats! The playground is spacious, set on the neighbourhood’s trail system and is adjacent to an urban forest.
The nature theme of this playground wasn’t an accident. It was designed to match the surroundings of the community, which includes a top-of-bank trail, a pollinator corridor, a wildlife crossing under 199 Street and the Wedgewood Creek Ravine.
Playground enthusiasts LOVE theme playgrounds! The playground in Qualico Communities’ Cy Becker community is an example of a theme playground done exceptionally well. The Area Structure Plan, in which Cy Becker is located, is called Pilot Sound. Charles “Cy” Becker was a wartime flying ace and one of the province’s first Bush pilots. The main structure of the playground is set in the shape of a historical plane. The staircase up to it is made of air mail boxes and packages! There is even the cutest little spring rider plane for the littlest pilots!
Why prioritize playgrounds?
Why is so much thought and effort put into Qualico Communities’ playgrounds? Emily Stamper, Marketing Coordinator for Qualico Communities, says “Playgrounds provide safe places for kids to learn, play and explore. Playgrounds take time, so when possible, we like to start them as early as we can, to ensure homeowners in our communities have access to them right away.”
To Qualico Communities, building community means extending their support beyond the physical borders of their neighbourhoods. Qualico Communities is known for offering financial support to charitable organizations, arts groups, and community projects in the towns and cities they call home. In Edmonton, Qualico Communities has offered support to The Kids with Cancer Society, The Patio Series at Festival Place, Strathcona Community Hospital Foundation, and Edmonton’s Food Bank, to name a few. They even donated toward the new playground at Horse Hill School, which will likely be the school of choice for families in the Marquis neighbourhood. “We like to support local to help those living in and around our communities” says Stamper.
Other notable Qualico Communities and playgrounds that we’ve visited include Forest Ridge in Fort Saskatchewan, Aster in Southeast Edmonton, Sedge Park in Sherwood Park, Meadowview in Leduc and Easton Park in Spruce Grove. So what is next for Qualico Communities? South Ravines in Devon is one of the communities that will soon add a playground. River’s Edge in West Edmonton is in development and is expected to add a playground down the road. All part of Qualico Communities’ vision of creating exceptional communities for you to call home!
Editor’s note: I wrote this blog as a paid partnership with Qualico Communities. The girls and I have long been visiting and reviewing playgrounds in Qualico Communities and we love the variety of unique playgrounds offered in their neighbourhoods. I thank the team at Qualico Communities for trusting me to help tell their story.