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  • Playground Revitalization Underway at École Howden

    The vision of a dedicated group of volunteers is coming to life at École Howden. The group recently welcomed the first round of new playground equipment, a project which has been in the making for approximately 6 years.

    “It’s incredibly exciting to see some tangible changes to our playground area after so many years of planning, fundraising and grant writing,” said Jocelyn Dubois-Ratté, co-chair of the École Howden Playground Renewal Committee. “The community can start to see our vision become reality and can enjoy these new pieces of equipment together.”

    Students were thrilled to see the addition of two oodle swings, ladder structures and a 4-seater seesaw in early November. “I really like the oodle swings because you can lay down on it,” said one student. Another student added: “They are really big, and you can have your friends on it with you.” Some of our younger students had never experienced a seesaw before and marveled at its unique features. “You can have four people on it at a time, and you go up so high!” To say that the new structures are a hit would be an understatement.

    The Committee credits the school community, supportive neighbourhood and grant writing success for getting this project to this stage.  

    “This first phase is really the culmination of so many people coming together,” said Crystal Strong, co-chair of the Committee. “Our parent community and neighbourhood supporters have been actively participating in our many, many fundraisers and together have raised more than $50,000 already. Our grant writing team has been working tirelessly to access any available funds. And the support from Matt Allard through the St. Boniface Ward Community Incentive Grant Program this summer helped push this first round to completion.”

    The overall goal is to create a safe, inviting space where children of all ages and abilities can enjoy movement and cooperative play. Future phases of the project will focus on improving the natural outdoor spaces, addressing drainage, shade, ecology and creating opportunities for different kinds of play and socialization throughout every season.  

    Their latest fundraiser wrapped up in November, and more activities are planned in the new year. To learn more about the initiative and show your support, follow the École Howden Playground Renewal Project group on Facebook, or email

    Removal%20of%20old%20structure.jpgTaking down an old structure

    4-seater%20seesaw.jpg4-seater seesaw