Laurene Weste: Fun for all at SCV’s new inclusive play area

Council member Laurene Weste

Providing programs, amenities and experiences that create a high quality of life for Santa Clarita’s residents is always our goal as a city. This goal includes making these amenities accessible to all members of our community. This past Saturday, I am proud to say the city of Santa Clarita achieved a significant milestone in its inclusivity efforts. We celebrated the grand opening of the new inclusive play area at Canyon Country Park, where people of all abilities can play in a safe and welcoming environment, which is just fun for all!

At the event, parents shared how the new playground will positively impact their children’s lives. We recognize that each child has a unifying desire to learn and play, and the inclusive play area is a space where children of all abilities will be able to do just that. With a fun western theme, the play area also pays homage to our rich history here in Santa Clarita.

Reece Wong, age 2, plays on a newly built structure at the inclusive play area in Canyon Country Park Saturday morning while supported by her mother, Stacey Wong. January 25, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Attendees at the grand opening watched in delight as children laughed, played and explored the new equipment. The inclusive play area includes a two-track zip line with a zero-G seat for additional body support, a roller slide made of steel and aluminum — ideal materials when designing a play area for those with cochlear implants — a wheelchair-accessible Rock N Raft where riders work together to move back and forth, and so much more.

The planning process for the new play area was especially important to the success of the project. Throughout the process, city staff held public outreach meetings where residents expressed their ideas and hopes for the playground. The community involvement gave the project a personal touch and helped it become a space reflective of our community’s wants and needs.

Members of the Santa Clarita City Council look on as Councilman Bill Miranda cuts the ribbon while Mayor Cameron Smyth holds a ceremonial pair of scissors and Councilwoman Marsha McLean holds the bow at the new inclusive play area in Canyon Country Park Saturday morning. January 25, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

I want to thank each community member who took the time to offer their input and support. The play area was made even better because of your involvement!

As we begin a new chapter in 2020, I know we are all looking ahead to another impactful project that will be coming to Canyon Country in the near future. Last year, the city held a groundbreaking event for the new Canyon Country Community Center, located at the corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway. Construction is well underway. The new center is set to include amenities such as a demonstration kitchen, gymnasium and outdoor event space. The project is shaping up to be a place that, like the inclusive play area, will truly inspire a sense of community and creativity for all who visit.

This year is set to be one of exciting progress and change that you won’t want to miss. Make sure to stay up-to-date with current happenings in the city by following our social media pages and visiting the city news web page at

Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].

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