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Indian Battle Park Natural Playground

How to design a playground - ask the children.

Lethbridge, Alberta

Nestled in the Old Man River valley, Indian Battle Park is a natural space located in the heart of the City of Lethbridge. The park is known for its beautiful trail network and open space recreation for families across Southern Alberta. As part of a routine assessment of all playgrounds within Lethbridge, the City of Lethbridge discovered that the playground in Indian Battle Park needed an update to meet playground safety standards. The City's goal was simple. Create a park that reflects the river valley's natural beauty while providing the youth with a fun and safe space for natural play. However, two questions needed to be answered. First, how are we going to do it? Second, do we have the budget for it?

Chosen to create the first natural playground in Lethbridge, our experts in landscape architecture and public engagement chose a new location for the playground to connect it with the existing Helen Schuler Nature Centre trail system. To discover what children really want in a playground, we held a design workshop with the Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge at no charge for the client. They were asked to draw their ideal playground and the Stantec team used these drawings as inspiration for the design. The children's ideas became reality as the design incorporated a spider web maze, beaver lodge, and a custom stone rattlesnake that serves as an outdoor classroom and climbing area.

The amount of positive feedback our client has received from the community is cause for celebration. The City of Lethbridge's first natural playground now serves as a source of fun and excitement for the youth of the community while paying homage to the beautiful landscape that surrounds it.

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