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Playground Updates

Community League votes to refurbish original playground

Members of the Griesbach Community League have voted to take the next step in fixing up the original playground in Maple Leaf park.

In a vote on Monday, June 11, members of the the community opted to spend up to $160,000 to improve the playground. The money will be used to bring the existing blue and yellow climbing structure up to current requirements so it can be enjoyed for years to come. This will include replacing the current slides, tightening everything and painting the entire structure.

The old wooden structure and the climbing dome will be removed, at the expense of Edmonton Public Schools, which currently owns the property. The old sand will also be removed and replaced.

The community league will pay for two new play structures in the park. This will including a climbing and slide structure for kids in the two-to-five-year-old age group and a climbing merry-go-round. This decision was based on feedback from community members, who told the community league that they wanted a safe place for preschoolers to play while the park closer to the school was being used by older children at recess time.

The $160,000 also includes money for benches, at least one picnic table and two trash cans.

The City of Edmonton will add additional trees to the area at no cost.

The park will be fenced off and not open to the public during the repair and installation. We appreciate the community’s patience during this time. The entire process should take six to eight weeks once the fences go up. We will provide more information as it become available.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Monday meeting, or provided feedback on this project through your emails and Facebook comments. Complete meeting minutes from the special meeting are available here as a PDF: GCL Special Meeting Minutes June 11 2018.

Plan to fix the original playground moves forward

The original playground in Maple Leaf Park needs an update and the Griesbach Community League wants your input.

The GCL will meet on Monday, June 11 at Major General Griesbach School for a public consultation on the playground refurbishment plan. The consultation is scheduled from 7-8 p.m. with a vote to follow. Anyone in the community can attend the consultation to view possible playground design options and to provide feedback. You will need a community league membership to vote. The final decision will be shared here.

Suggestions are already coming in

Thanks to everyone who has already provided feedback to original_playground@griesbachcommunity.com. If you can’t attend the meeting, you can still send feedback to this email address until 7 p.m. on June 11.

We are listening to your suggestions.

The overwhelming suggestion so far has been to provide some structures for preschool-aged children, as they are not able to use the new Maple Leaf Park playground when it is filled with children from MGG at recess time.

There have also been some suggestions for larger capital projects catering more to adults, something like a tennis court or a community league building. The community league may get to those projects eventually. Unfortunately, at this time, they are outside the budget and timeline for this smaller project.

What the community league suggests

After consultation with community members and the city, the community league is looking at a merry-go-round climbing structure and a smaller play structure designed for preschoolers in the 2-5 year-old age group. (See image below for one climbing structure option.)

The community league also looked at installing disc swings or regular swings, but they cost almost as much as the climbing structure. The thought is that more children can play on the climbing structure at the same time, especially during high-traffic at baseball games.

There will also be benches, because we know that parents need a break! The community league is looking at installing at least one new bench and one new picnic table, with additional seating as the budget allows.

There will also be two new garbage cans to help keep the area clean.

There is the option for one or two spring toys, which are designed for the 2-5 age group. Again, this depends on budget once the final estimates are in.

These suggestions are not yet final. Please come to the meeting to tell us what you would like to see.

When making suggestions, it is important to remember that any new items will have to fit into the existing sand space. The footprint of the playground cannot be expanded at this time.

What will go?

The old wooden play structure and the climbing dome must be removed. They are no longer safe and are so old that finding parts to repair them is nearly impossible. The old bench will also be removed.

The old sand will be removed and replaced, the area regraded and the wooden curbing around the edge of the playground will be replaced.

The main play structure will remain. It will be repainted and fixed up with two new slides.

Who will pay?

The money and labour to remove the old structures is being provided by Edmonton Public Schools.

The Griesbach Community League will fund the costs of the new equipment. It already has the funding in place. The money is from casinos and bingos and it must be spent on capital projects, such as a playground. The community league also has some money left from a very successful final push for the new playground.


After the meeting on June 11, the community league will have the City of Edmonton order the new equipment. Edmonton Public Schools will begin to take down the old structure. Everything should be finished by September.

The playground will be fenced off during this time. We ask for your patience as we work to make the original playground a fun and safe place for kids to play for years to come.

It’s time to fix the original playground. We want your input

Please join us on Monday, June 11 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Major General Griesbach School for a special meeting to hold a membership vote on the future of the original playground structure.

For the past year, Griesbach Community League has been exploring the possibility of keeping some version of the original school’s playground, that would be the one in the southeast corner of Maple Leaf Park. It is now time to move forward with the project.

While the wooden playground structure and the green metal climbing dome have to be removed due to safety concerns, the blue-and-yellow structure can remain with a few repairs.

The community league is also looking at the option of adding new equipment to the area where the wooden structure and the climbing dome currently sit. This could be basic swings, disc swings, another play structure, or a climbing merry-go-round.

Proposed disc swing option.

Keeping some of the original playground will also require repairs and upgrades, including:

  • Removal and replacement of all three slides on main structure including the one currently missing.
  • Removal of the wooden play structure and the installation of a large new two- or three-bay set of disc swings, or a merry-go-round, in its place (dependant on required space and costs).
  • Removal of the green metal climbing dome.
  • Removal of all the existing wooden curbing and the replacement with all new wooden curbing.
  • Removal of existing sand and replacement with new sand and/on engineered wood fiber (as in new playground base).
  • Removal of the old bench and the installation of two new benches and bases.
  • The installation of two or three TBD spinning/bouncing pieces, as space allows.
  • Land regraded and re-sodded as needed for proper grading.
  • All equipment checked for structural and safety. Repaired as necessary.

Proposed merry-go-round climber.


The City of Edmonton has determined a cost estimate of $78,700, plus or minus 30 per cent. This would include all the repairs required and the installation of a two-bay disc swing set and three new slides. Any extra spinners and benches are approximately $2,500 each.


Edmonton Public Schools, which currently owns the playground property, has agreed to pay for much of the demolition and removal costs. This will greatly reduce any costs incurred by the Griesbach community. Edmonton Public Schools will remove the existing wooden playground equipment and metal dome, clean and remove existing sand surfacing, remove the existing bench, remove and regrade sod and install a safety fence during this process. This part of the process is expected to take between three to five days.

Griesbach Community League will cover the cost of new benches and equipment. The community league was very successful in receiving additional funding for the new playground and has enough money remaining to cover the majority, if not all, of the cost of this project, without affecting any other future projects.

Additional considerations

  • Weeping tile: The city has determined there is likely weeping tile under the newer structure area however the city has cautioned that if water collects in the area we may need to pay for a crew to pump it out. This cost is not significant, however, and has not been noticed previously.
  • Partial removal of old equipment and curbing: GCL and the city are looking for this cost to be covered by the EPSB as currently they are responsible for the entire playground’s removal and a partial is likely much cheaper. This cost was not included in the estimate and may add to GCL’s total cost in the unlikely event we cannot manage an agreement. This cost will be determined prior to final approval.
  • Although the playground will be fully inspected during this project, the city has estimated the life expectancy of the metal structure at seven years, as they are unsure how long parts will remain available. That stated, it could last much longer, but they do not want to guarantee this.
  • Major General Griesbach School likely will not use this play area during regular hours, however it will be available all other times.
  • GCL may be responsible for any future removal of the equipment, if required. This cost could be offset by grants, funding and the installation of any future equipment in its place, or by donating it to an organization who will remove it at their cost.
  • The new playground end up costing almost $800,000. The cost of refurbishing and upgrading the original playground would be about 1/10 of that cost.
  • The area adjacent to this playground was suggested as a potential spot for an outdoor rink, a community hall, or other future capital projects, so having a playground adjacent could be a benefit. We have already saved the original parking lot alongside the playground and may look to add items such as ball hockey, bicycle training circles, pickleball court lines, etc.
  • Many parents whose children play sports on Griesbach fields feel there is a need for this structure to remain as it is close for other children to play on during sports events.

The property is currently owned and maintained by the Edmonton Public School Board, however the land it is on will be turned over to the City of Edmonton for parkland to complete a land exchange for the new school location.

The Griesbach Community League has been working closely with The City of Edmonton, The Edmonton Public School Board and Coun. Bev Esslinger on this project. Now we are ready for your input.

Please join us at Major General Griesbach School on Monday, June 11 at 7 p.m., or email your ideas or concerns to original_playground@griesbachcommunity.com before June 11.

Your donation can help us meet a crucial deadline – so we can build our playground THIS YEAR!


Incredible news:

If we get $30,000* in the bank by April 1, 2016 – we can have a playground in place THIS fall! 

After many years of fundraising, consultation and design, we are FINALLY within striking distance of starting our build. If we can raise approximately $30,000 by April 1st, we can break ground THIS season.

It’s a big “IF” but we’re confident that we can do it.

We are asking your family – or your business – if you can make an immediate contribution prior to the April 1st deadline.

At the recent community AGM, we had a number of residents make generous contributions – many over $100. As a result, we raised close to $2,400 in one night! If everyone could give just a little bit, we can unquestionably achieve this goal and get shovels in the ground.

The good news is that all donations over $20 qualify for a tax receipt from the City of Edmonton!!!

If your company is part of a donation matching program – your contribution doubles – to get us that much closer. There are also recognition programs in place for corporate donors and large individual donors.

This playground will directly benefit the 500+ kids who attend Major General Griesbach School – which was built without a playground. The planned playground and park now has a name: “Maple Leaf Park” – and a proposed design (see link below). All it needs is a final funding push.

Here is a link to the community page where you can get additional information on the proposed design plan. We want your honest opinion in telling us what you like and what you don’t like: http://griesbachcommunity.com/griesbach-playground-design-equipment-what-do-you-think/

WE ONLY HAVE A LIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME SO PLEASE SHARE THIS PAGE. Every dollar helps and our children will thank you for years to come.

* Our target of $30,000 is a bit of a simplified number. The actual number for April 1st is $17,874 by April 1 and $11,825 by mid-may. Additional funds will be required at a later date to complete features that will not be addressed in the initial build: including the gazebo and additional furniture. This will likely be covered by upcoming fundraising initiatives including a casino. The numbers keep changing with every donation. The gofundit tally does not include a couple of big announcements: including a $4,700 donation from MGG School and approximately $2,400 donated at the recent AGM.

Griesbach Playground awarded $250,000 grant.

School Project sample 4

One Griesbach student’s dream playground.

The Griesbach Playground Committee was thrilled to learn our community has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the City of Edmonton.

In order to qualify, the committee was required  outline all of the detailed planning work it has done to date. This includes:

  • Developing a needs assessment and outlining impacts.
  • Creating a strategy to guide the build.
  • Costing and budget projections.
  • Outlining efforts to date to get community feedback, including:
    • Information collected through an online survey to parents;
    • A project at MGG School asking kids to say what they’d like to see, and;
    • A multi-playground family tour organized last summer.

The proposal also required the development of an initial “concept plan.” This included an overall design for the playground landscaping and a description of key features we would like to implement. Not to mention a name for our playground.

Now that the committee has received positive feedback from the City, it would like to share its plans along with funding targets at the Griesbach Community League Annual General Meeting: March 17, 7 pm at MGG School.

We hope you can attend. The vision they have set is one we can all be proud of.


Special thanks goes out to our playground committee for the effort that went into the grant proposal: Jim Chronopoulos, Joylyn Teskey, Kara Kempin and Stacy Felkar. The committee would also like to acknowledge Alison Mould, Community Recreation Coordinator from the City of Edmonton for all of her guidance and Dave Neufeld for putting the proposal together. We’d also like to recognize Principal Stephen Lynch and MGG School for their support.

We continue to push ahead with our corporate sponsorship efforts, while applying for additional funding. Slowly but surely, we’re getting closer.