Not only is this a pleasant scenario, it is also a chance for families to win a prize. Picture Me @ Play is the Town of Coaldale’s brand new summer-inspired initiative.
Kathy Bly, communications co-ordinator and Stephanie Wierl, community services manager discussed the project with town council at a regular council meeting May 12.
“June is Recreation and Parks Month across the province and we were looking for a way to have focus on our playgrounds and get families out having fun together and more active. Especially after the kind of winter we’ve had but also too because there are a lot of new people in town who may not know how many parks we actually have — how many playgrounds are out there,” said Bly.
Bly noted family members can snap a photo of their kids playing at a park and the photos can be e-mailed in and each photo will enter contestants into the contest. It’s that simple.
“July 1 we will draw and a family will get a big basket with all sorts of soccer balls, kites, bubbles and sidewalk chalk and that sort of thing,” added Bly.
To promote Coaldale parks, the town applied for a Communities Choose Well grant and received a $2,000 grant to promote active living and physical literacy.
“We’re going to do playground spotlights with our summer play ambassadors, we’re calling them. We’re making use of Caylee Vogel who is doing our Summer Games. She’ll also be doing this and our summer camps. We’ll be going to the playgrounds and doing activities with the kids. We have these playground spotlights booked and we’ll be doing them around town and playing activities with the kids and bringing them snacks and the parents will go home with a handout sheet,” said Bly, adding the sheet will contain recipes for healthy snacks and games families can play at home.
According to Bly, the town has also teamed up with local businesses in the community with support of $550 in funding to go towards the summer fun project. “They will be sponsors. We actually have a sponsor for every spotlight and the town is actually doing the swimming pool one,” said Bly, adding council is encouraged to come out and take part in the fun.
Wierl added Picture Me @ Play fits into the larger picture, envisioning where the town is going and trying to get the community out and active, engaged and together. “That is sort of that play idea — that physical literacy and giving youth the skills to be active for their whole life,” said Wierl.
During the discussion with town council Wierl noted the project will be a lot of fun and said she hopes councillors can come out and join in on May 23, the first official Picture Me @ Play playground spotlight, which coincides with the Mass Summer Fun Registration at The Hub.
“Throw on your running shoes, sunglasses and bring kids, grandkids, or whoever and join us for Picture Me @ Play and help us promote the event,” said Wierl, to town council.
Bly added a schedule of the various dates, times and playgrounds will be available online on the town’s website.
Coaldale Mayor Kim Craig said he wanted to commend community services for the initiative.