Five Counties Children’s Centre has received almost $400,000 in capital funding for its Northumberland Backyard Project from the Ontario government and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
In partnership with the County of Northumberland, Nogojiwanong Friendship Centre, YMCA Northumberland, and the local EarlyON Child and Family Centre, Five Counties Children’s Centre plans to transform the backyard area at the centre’s location at 800 Division Street in Cobourg into a safe and fully accessible outdoor area that provides more space and options for treatment, recreation, cultural awareness, and outdoor education programs.
With the initial grading, drainage, landscaping, and fencing done this summer and fall, the capital grants will support the project’s completion in 2024. Once completed, the backyard will include an accessible playground, sensory play equipment, garden area, gazebo, stage, and a track for wheelchairs, bikes, and other mobility devices.
“We are extremely grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services for investing in our backyard, our kids, and our community,” says Scott Pepin, CEO of Five Counties Children’s Centre, in a media release. “The capital funding will not only transform our backyard but will help transform lives. Our field of dreams is almost a reality, and the end result will be a fully accessible, culturally responsive, nature-based play space that boosts outdoor treatment sessions, reduces wait lists, and helps children and families enjoy accessible play.”
Five Counties Children’s Centre provides speech, physio, and occupational therapies, as well as other treatment services, for children and youth up to the age of 19 in the counties of Northumberland, Peterborough, and Haliburton and the City Kawartha Lakes. This past year, the non-profit organization served more than 6,200 children and youth in its region, with one quarter of them in Northumberland County.
The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services is providing $255,100 to revamp and expand the parking lot at Five Counties to accommodate more families accessing services at the centre and the neighbouring EarlyON site. The Ontario Trillium Foundation is providing $141,000 for the building of the accessible track and other play features.