Community Elementary – Xwemélch’stn – celebrated the completion of its new,
accessible playground on Sept. 27.
surfacing allows individuals using wheelchairs or other assisting devices to
seamlessly access the play area from the adjacent asphalt. Other playground accessibility
features include a disc swing that accommodates a variety of users, along with
a stationary cycler and chinning/turning bar – all of which can be accessed
from the rubber surfacing.
received a $105,000 grant from the Ministry of Education through the Playground
Equipment Program, to fully fund a universally accessible playground. West
Vancouver-Capilano MLA Ralph Sultan was on hand for the official playground opening
at the school.
Principal Rob Smyth said the school community is grateful to Brad Baker and the
Squamish Nation, whose members helped them open the Xwemelch’stn playground in
honour of the late Vern Baker.
Norgate community came together to witness students leading the ceremony and
sharing protocol,” said Smyth. “Words were shared about providing for students
and honouring diversity."
Dallas Guss, Brad Baker, Alroy Baker
and Stewart Gonzales at the opening of the Xwemelch’stn playground.
also thanked the Ministry of Education for funding the new playground, which
has seen much activity and shared joyful experiences from all students.
Vern Baker was a longtime Indigenous Support Worker in the
North Vancouver School District.
“He had on impact on students across NVSD with his charisma and willingness to
work with everyone,” said District Principal Brad Baker. “He was a role model
and was looked upon as a knowledge keeper from the Squamish Nation.”