A Simple Playground Can Make a Huge Difference in a Community

The small town in which I live is trying to get a playground for its children. You might not think that is a big deal, but it is—particularly in this case. The community is impoverished (third worst in all of British Columbia, Canada), so raising the money isn’t easy for its townspeople, but people here in Lillooet are pulling together to make it happen.

Most people don’t think that a playground matters and, to be honest, my husband and I don’t even have children so you may be wondering why I’d care about a playground at all.

Since I became involved with trying to help the community get a playground, I’ve been conducting research about the benefits of playgrounds to communities, and I’d love to share what I’ve learned:

According to research conducted by Duerr Evaluation Resouces for the Shasta Children and Families First Commission, playgrounds help children and communities in many ways, some of which include:

  • Substantial amounts of research show a clear link between play and brain development, motor skills and social capabilities.
  • As part of brain development, play helps to build the neural network through repetitive actions that reinforce these connections between brain cells. Additionally, because play uses both sides of the body, it helps to reinforce the left and right sides of the brain, along with the corpus callosum which joins these hemispheres.
  • Playgrounds foster and enhance the opportunities for a child to play alone or with other children or with a caregiver.
  • Play structures in playgrounds differ from toys found at home which promotes a wide variety of physical activities that help improve fitness of a child’s growing body. That helps to build muscles, bone density, increased flexibility—all of which also serve to reduce the potential for future injuries in the child.
  • Playgrounds help to build social, intellectual and verbal skills as children interact with each other and/or their caregiver.
  • Playgrounds are also a great place for parents and caregivers to meet others who are dealing with similar issues and to get a chance to socialize with each other.

Playgrounds give kids the opportunity to blow off steam in a healthy and creative way. That couldn’t be more important in today’s world with so many stresses and crises in the news or in their home lives. In my community, many families struggle with financial and health crises, making playgrounds that much more important for kids to get away from it all and just be kids.

Because of the level of poverty here in Lillooet, BC, we looked to a contest sponsored by the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) to help win a $100,000 playground. We’re neck-and-neck with an affluent city of over 300,000 people even though the voting process favors population density and we have only 2,300 people. Please help this economically-challenged community win this playground by taking a couple of seconds to vote for the Lillooet REC Centre to win! Thanks for any support you might offer this tiny town with BIG SPIRIT!

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is an international best-selling and 19-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, and Cooking (New World Library, 2016).



Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Peggy B.
Peggy B2 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Nina S.
Nina S2 years ago


Elaine W.
Past Member 2 years ago


Dave C.
David C2 years ago

noted, thanks

Peggy B.
Peggy B2 years ago

Great Article

Ricky T.
Ricky T2 years ago

All children deserve a garden/playground...important for their wellbeing.

Margie FOURIE2 years ago

Unfortunately the playgrounds around her are use bu drug abusers, drinkers and the ladies of horizontal refreshment, and it shows.

Mona M.
Mona M2 years ago

So true, thank you.