Retired tires tread on new ground

Nanaimo receives $27k towards repurposing old tire rubber for its new playground


The City of Nanaimo has been selected as a grant recipient under Tire Stewardship BC's (TSBC) 2020 Community Grant Program, and is receiving $27,901.00 towards new rubber safety surfacing for the Maffeo-Sutton Park playground.

The Parks, Recreation and Culture department is using recycled scrap tire materials as a new playground surface. This durable, rubber play surface meets Canadian Safety Association (CSA) fall height standards and will be accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. Because the surface is accessible, more children will be able to access the newly installed equipment, encouraging inclusive and active play that will help to improve motor, cognitive and social skills.

Through research and engagement completed as part of the Maffeo-Sutton Park Master Plan, the playground was identified as a top priority of the community's for upgrades. It is being redeveloped as a space that is inclusive and accessible to all who live and visit Nanaimo.

The art within the playground design is the work of artist Noel Brown, and reflects the rich history and culture of our local Snuneymuxw First Nation (SFN). With the use of coloured recycled tire rubber, the artwork depicts a story through the overall design of the space, creating imaginary play opportunities for children.

Phase one of the playground's redevelopment is scheduled to be complete late spring or early summer 2020.

Link to Strategic Plan: Creative and sustainable repurposing of scrap materials supports Council's strategy on environmental responsibility.

Key Points

  • Nanaimo is receiving $27,901 towards the development of the new playground at Maffeo-Sutton Park from Tire Stewardship BC's (TSBC) 2020 Community Grant Program.
  • The repurposed tire rubber surface will carry design elements by SFN artist Noel Brown in a fun and meaningful depiction.
  • Phase one of the playground's redevelopment is scheduled to be complete in the spring or early summer of 2020.


"Playing on an old tire in a playground used to mean hopping on a tire swing. Times have changed! This modern repurposing of tire rubber into a playground surface shows just how innovative we can be, all while improving safety and taking one more green step forward."

City of Nanaimo

"The City of Nanaimo believes in collaborating with the community in the development of its playgrounds. This repurposed, accessible rubber surface encourages inclusive play and is supported by our community partners, including the Nanaimo Child Development Centre and the Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island."

Councillor; Chair of the Advisory Committee on Accessibility and Inclusiveness
City of Nanaimo

"Tire Stewardship BC is thrilled to be part of such an exciting project, which demonstrates the commitment and enthusiastic support that BC communities like Nanaimo have for finding creative and exciting uses for recycled scrap tire materials. A perfect example of tire eco fees going full circle back into the community! "

Executive Director
Tire Stewardship BC

Quick Facts

  • A part of the grant terms include using rubber that is sourced from BC tires and processed within BC.


Final Design of the rubber surface at Maffeo-Sutton Park
Final Design of the rubber surface at Maffeo-Sutton Park


Timelapse of Noel Brown’s Coho salmon design, to be set into the rubber playground surface.
Timelapse of Noel Brown’s Coho salmon design, to be set into the rubber playground surface.


Art Groot
Director of Facility and Parks Operations
City of Nanaimo

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