Shovels are expected to hit the ground this summer on a unique playground in St. Boniface.

The Nordale Nature Playground will combine a traditional play structure with natural elements such as trees, indigenous plants, tree stumps and boulders.

Nordale Nature Playground co-chair, Trina McFayden says a certain type of child gravitates towards play structures and they want to give other children more options.

“A child who is really active and really mobile likes that sort of play,” McFayden said. “But there aren’t a lot of spaces for kids who are quieter, who like to day dream or who just want to get away with their friends for some quiet time.”

“We want them to have imaginative play spaces and not just man-made materials everywhere.”

McFayden says they have already planted 48 trees and plan to plant 44 more, which will make up their forest area. She says the first wave of construction will include replacing all the gravel with wood fibre, installing a new drainage system, moving the existing swings, installing picnic tables and implementing the natural play elements like boulders and stumps.

Their fundraising goal is set at $210,000 and McFayden says they have raised $144,000 as of right now. She says they have enough money to go ahead with all of their plans and any extra funds they receive will go towards additional pieces.

“Those will go towards a rock climbing wall, more swings, a lunar climbing blast net, play canoes and more plants,” McFayden said.

McFayden says the group hopes this new space will reconnect kids with nature.

The group will host a plant day prior to the start of construction, where kids in the community can plant their own trees in the forest area.

“They get to take ownership of that,” McFayden said. “They get to help put a shovel in the ground and in 20 years they can come back and see how their work has transformed this space.”

McFayden adds the space will not be limited to children, and community members of all ages are encouraged to use it as well.

“The whole community can meet, play, have picnics under the shade of trees or use the walking trails” she said. “We think it’s a space the entire community will take pride in.

McFayden says donations can be made at Nordale School at 99 Birchdale St. or online at

She says cheques can be made out to the Louis Riel School Division, with “Nordale Nature Playground” on the note line.

Construction is set to begin June 4, 2018.