North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Oct 29
Accessible playground opens at Xwemélch’stn


Norgate Community Elementary – Xwemélch’stn – celebrated the completion of its new, accessible playground on Sept. 27.

Rubberized 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.

Norgate 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.

Norgate 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.

“The 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."

IMG_0067.JPGDallas Guss, Brad Baker, Alroy Baker and Stewart Gonzales at the opening of the Xwemelch’stn playground.

Smyth 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.”






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