The University of Winnipeg



Construction begins on UWSA Day Care outdoor play area

Left to right: UWSA Indigenous Advisory Circle members Amber Balan, Rayanne Atatise, and Mel Amelia are joined by Jonathan Henderson, UWSA Vice-President of External Affairs, and Kelly Krakalovich, UWSA Indigenous Advisory Circle member, at last week’s sod-turning and land acknowledgement.

The University of Winnipeg is celebrating the development of a new multi-surface, amenity-filled outdoor play area for the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) Day Care.

Those involved in the project gathered Wednesday, July 5 to mark the start of construction with a sod-turning and land acknowledgement ceremony. A ribbon cutting will follow this fall.

It warms my heart to provide this new and joyful play space.

Tomiris Kaliyeva, UWSA President

Development of an outdoor play area for the 144-space licensed child care centre—which serves UWinnipeg students, faculty and staff, and the surrounding community on a not-for-profit basis—has been in the works since 2019.

“We have been anticipating the opportunity to enhance and renovate our outdoor play area as we have known this to be wanted by parents at the UWSA Day Care,” said Jonathan Henderson, UWSA Vice-President of External Affairs. “We were very proud to achieve this with an Indigenous perspective leading the process and programming.”

The play area was designed in Winnipeg by HTFC Planning & Design.

“We are extremely excited to have partnered with The University of Winnipeg community and designers Destiny Seymour and Mamie Griffith to provide this new play space rooted in Indigenous culture and knowledge,” said Constantina Douvris, Principal, HTFC Planning & Design. “We expect our client, the children, will be thrilled when it is complete.”

The play area’s multi-surface design will allow children to enjoy several types of terrain, including poured rubber, wood fibre mulch, sand, artificial turf, and wood chips.

The Early Years Zone (ages two to five), which covers two-thirds of the play area, will include a mud kitchen, canoe, vertical logs, climbing trunks, concrete benches, a sun net climber, stilted balance logs, and berm. A dedicated Infant Zone (ages six months to two years) will be anchored by an existing pergola and refurbished gazebo with new benches, a turtle climber, musical chimes, a sand and water play table, and a sand play area.

Existing trees will be retained and additional trees and shrubs will be planted.

“It warms my heart to provide this new and joyful play space,” said Tomiris Kaliyeva, UWSA President. “I’m so happy that children will soon be able to play and learn through an Indigenous lens at the UWSA Day Care.”

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