The City of Quesnel has been recognized for its use of wood in the construction of the South Hills park.
The Community Award of Merit was given out by Wood Works, a national campaign to increase the use of wood in commercial, industrial and institutional construction.
The South Hills park, on Neighbour Road in the South Quesnel neighbourhood, opened in October 2017 with a ribbon cutting. It features natural-look equipment as chosen by local children, who were consulted in the project.
The equipment, including a swing set and various climbing structures, is constructed from robina wood, which is a European hardwood sourced from Germany that has a 25- to 30-year lifespan.
At the unveiling last year, Quesnel mayor Bob Simpson said this type of wood doesn’t absorb much water, so doesn’t get slippery, which can be a concern for playground equipment.
Along with swings and climbing structures, the playground contains a high rope climbing frame, a wooden house with a slide for smaller children and insect spring riders.
The City, along with the Cariboo Regional District, was awarded the Wood Works accolade last year for its use of wood in the West Fraser Centre. Wood was used in the arena’s ceiling and mezzanine, as well as many other areas of construction.
Simpson said being a forestry-based community, the city tries to infuse wood into construction wherever possible, and it’s nice to be recognized for that work.
“The Quesnel park was more of a nature-based play area, with the wood infusion in there. To have back-to-back recognition of some of our new projects is really good for the community.
“I think the main thing it does is get some provincial press, and gets out in the community that Quesnel is doing fun and interesting things, and just adds to our branding that we are a fun community and people should take a good hard look at us,” he commented.
The Wood Works campaign is led by the Canadian Wood Council and is funded by the wood industry, the federal government and provincial governments.