Doreen Kelly and Eric Scragg stand by the new playground in the Blaeberry. Kelly donated the land and Scragg designed the playground

A natural place for children to play in the middle of the Blaeberry

Children in the Blaeberry will be able to play on a work of natural art.

Children in the Blaeberry will soon be able to escape into a mystical woodland when the new Tom Kelly Memorial Park opens.

“They were looking to put a rural playground in. A few sites were suggested, but we’ve always had playground equipment here and we were always open to the public. So some people said to put it here,” said Doreen Kelly who donated the 3/4 of an acre of land for the park, which is named after her late husband.

When she agreed to be part of the project she had no idea what a wonderful experience it would be.

“I never dreamed it would be like this, and that they would get someone like Eric,” she said, referring to Eric Scragg, the designer of the wood playground. Scragg works from his home in Falkland, B.C., and has made a name for himself designing playgrounds for Whistler, Japan, and countless private treehouses for people’s backyards.

The park in the Blaeberry will be his most rural project to date.

“I was surprised that it was here. When I first heard Golden I figured it would be downtown. But this valley is beautiful, it’s so nice to have a park here,” said Scragg, who has been residing in a camper on the back of his pick-up truck while he worked on site.

Scragg started out making log homes, but found himself often bored doing the same thing over and over.

“I decided that was too much of doing the same log work. Then somebody wanted a playhouse, so I made a little log cabin, and stuck it up in a tree. I kind of got carried away from there,” he said. “I just let my imagination run wild after that.”

Scragg spends years collecting wood near his home in Falkland, in areas around the Shuswap Lakes, and also has people who collect for him in Squamish and Vancouver Island.

The centre piece for the Tom Kelly park has been in his workshop for five years.

“This brings out a whole different energy with the kids when thery’re on here, that natural organic flow makes them feel like they’re in the woods. Their imaginations run a little more wild with it,” said Scragg, adding how happy he is that more municipalities and regional districts are becoming interested in this sort of playground.

He already has plans for one on the Sunshine Coast, and is in talks with the CSRD for a playground at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort across from the chair lift, which he says may or may not happen next year.

The Tom Kelly Memorial Park, which will include not only Scragg’s creation, but also a playing field, a bon fire pit, and a washroom, is still under construction. The grand opening date has not yet been set, but Scragg insisted he would be back for it.

“I can’t wait to see the kids on there, that’s the most exciting part,” he said.

“Tree houses can be fun, but I really like working more on parks because more kids get to play with them.


Just Posted

Golden gets wagging and walking for dog guides

According to the Canadian Survey on Disability, 2017, one in five Canadians… Continue reading

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Golden Secondary School Eagles soar at Kootenay championship

Submitted The Golden Secondary School track and field team has completed another… Continue reading

Your weekly Mountain Minute

Golden’s 60-second news recap

An Everest fundraiser

Man set to climb elevation of Mt. Everest in one day to raise school lunch funds

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read