On September 21, parents and children of a west Edmonton neighbourhood celebrated the opening of a brand new playground. This structure was built in part thanks to an Alberta Blue Cross Healthy Communities Grant.
For five years, the Bessie Nichols School Fundraising Society raised funds to build the park, which included the Healthy Communities Grant that was awarded to them in 2015. The new playground has equipment for youth and toddlers, and includes walking trails, bike paths, benches and tables in the surrounding area. The playground was designed to be accessible to all community members.
The Alberta Blue Cross Healthy Community Grant Program was introduced in 2013. It committed $1 million over five years to support and promote active living in communities across the province. In each of those years, four grants of $50,000 each were awarded to deserving projects in Edmonton, Calgary, one secondary city and one rural community. Funding for this program comes from the ABC Benefits Corporation Foundation, which was established by Alberta Blue Cross in 1998 in conjunction with its 50th anniversary to provide support for health-related community activities across the province.
Alberta Blue Cross is currently reviewing applications for the 2017 grants and recipients will be chosen by the end of year and formally announced in January. To learn more about this program, click here.