Maffeo Sutton Inclusive Playground Opens


The Maffeo Sutton Inclusive Playground opened on Thursday, June 18. The project, a partnership between The City of Nanaimo, Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo Child Development Centre, Tire Stewardship of BC and other community organizations, brought Nanaimo's first inclusive playground to reality.

The newly installed equipment is not only inclusive for all members of the community, but it will help to improve motor, cognitive and social skills through active play.

As part of the improvements, the playground got improved safety surfacing made out of recycled tires, as well as the pea gravel being replaced with wood fibre. Both of these surfaces not only improve safety but allow those with mobility challenges easier and improved access throughout the area.

Another exciting feature of the playground includes First Nations art pieces created by local artist, Noel Brown. Through his art and the design of the space, a story unfold that depicts life along the Millstone River with Coho salmon.

This is Phase 1 of the playground project with Phase 2 expected in 2023.

Link to Strategic Plan: Providing enhancements to our play spaces supports a livable community.

Key Points

  • An inclusive playground is a universally designed, sensory-rich environment that enables children and adults of all abilities to interact and play together. Universal design is the design of buildings, structures or environments that are accessible to all people regardless of age, ability or other factors.
  • There are several phases to the overall playground project at Maffeo Sutton Park. Phase Two (coming in 2023) will feature additional play equipment, musical and audible play, sensory panels, quiet play spaces and additional planted areas.


"The partnership between the City of Nanaimo, the Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, the Nanaimo Child Development Centre and Tire Stewardship BC has resulted in Nanaimo's first inclusive playground, a milestone for us. The City is very grateful to have worked with these organizations in improving this play space for our citizens."

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

"At the Nanaimo Child Development Centre we are very excited and extremely grateful to the City of Nanaimo and the Children’s Health Foundation for getting behind this project and moving it ahead. The benefits of this development will impact people of all ages and add to the richness of the fabric of social life in Nanaimo. We want to express our appreciation and gratitude to everyone who was and is part of this initiative to create accessibility, celebrate inclusion and build our community."

The Child Development Centre

"We are honoured to be part of this project at Maffeo Sutton Park. Our contribution of $100,000 was made possible by the generosity of a donor whose wish was to ensure kids with all abilities have access to play in an inclusive space. We know this playground is such a staple in the City of Nanaimo and are excited to see it come to fruition thanks to our wonderful community partners"

Children's Foundation of Vancouver Island

Quick Facts

  • Children's Health Foundation of Vancouver Island's vision is to ensure all Island families have access to the health care they need. It aims to help transform the lives of children and youth living with physical and mental health challenges.
  • The Nanaimo Child Development Centre's mandate is to provide individualized services for children and their families that promote optimum child development. They have been serving the community since 1967.
  • Tire Stewardship BC is a not-for-profit society formed to manage BC's tire recycling program. Part of the new safety surfacing at the Maffeo Sutton Inclusive Playground is made from recycled tires and was made possible through this organization.


Art Groot
Director, Facility and Parks Operations
City of Nanaimo

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