Play forest in Londonderry a natural progression

Londonderry Lines, By Amanda Langille

Published on August 5, 2014
Presentations of grant money recently took place at the soon to be Londonderry Play Forest. Participating in the presentation were, from left, community volunteer Robbin Spencer, area Coun. Tom Taggart and volunteer Amanda Langille.

The Londonderry Community Council received very exciting news recently.

Applications for grants to create a natural playground in Londonderry were completed earlier this year and came back successful with $23,588 granted from the Municipality of the County of Colchester and $14,000 from the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. 

The project in total will cost an estimated $52,000, and the remaining amount is covered by generous in-kind contributions, the Londonderry Community Council, and fundraisers. 

Garnet McLaughlin of Cobequid Trail Consulting, based out of Economy, has played an integral part in the design and planning of the project. The pocket of woods located between the community centre and the ball field is the perfect place to create a play forest. The term “play forest” is not commonly used, and in fact, this Londonderry Play Forest will be the first of its kind in Canada. Creating natural play spaces is a researched based trend that has become increasingly more popular in recent years, in part because of the tremendous benefits nature brings to children, and especially to children at play.

Typically when a natural play space is built it is in a more urban or open area and there is a desire to incorporate more nature into the space. However, the designated pocket of forest in Londonderry is already as natural as can be with great contours for a walking path and hills for a hill slide and climbing wall. 

Along with the bongos, giant xylophone, thunderdrums, mini rope course, and Kenomee Log play house, the children who eventually will play there will also have an abundance of different species of plants, birds, squirrels, and insects to examine and observe.

A child’s imagination is limitless and it will be amazing to see what games are made up in this one-of-a-kind play space.

Some work will begin as soon as possible as equipment becomes available, but the majority of the construction will take place during a community build weekend on Sept. 27 and 28. If you would like to be added to the volunteer list for this weekend call 668-2300. It’s going to be an amazing initiative to be part of.

Happy birthday to Ella Lomond!

Amanda Langille is a married mother of two young boys. She lives in Londonderry Station. If you've got any community news to report, contact her at