Bring Toys & Smiles Back to Granville Park (and other Vancouver parks)

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Granville Park (corner of Pine & West 15th Ave) has affectionately been known as "toy park" by parents and caregivers, but on December 10 the Vancouver Park Board removed ALL of the toys that had been donated to the park. The park is barren. This used to be a place where kids learned to walk using the walkers, play in the sand with diggers and buckets, race down the hill on riding cars, used imaginative play with the many props and learned to share. All that is left are the play structures - the joy of this park for our kids is gone. Please support our petition to have toys allowed at Granville Park. We want to return the toys and smiles to Granville Park.

We have written to the Vancouver Park Board and the response from Howard Normann, Director of Parks, was that safety is their priority and (we are paraphrasing):

1. Someone might walk through the park at night and trip on a toy.
2. Staff are frustrated by the time it takes to clear the toys in order to mow the grass or do park maintenance. 
3. There are some broken toys. 

I think parents and caregivers can in the future pitch in to carry toys back to the park area before leaving (to alleviate #1 and 2). Some sort of signage may also help to remind people to keep the park clean and deter people from donating / dumping toys that are not park appropriate. It seems that the park board has listened to a few complainers rather than the countless kids who consider the toys at "toy park" to be the best part of the park.

In a city like Vancouver where living space comes at a premium, our parks become the sanctuary of our children and the excitement of Granville Park is gone. Please help us bring it back.

UPDATE: Since starting the petition we have learned that the toys have been removed from all Vancouver parks. In future discussions with decision makers, we will be including the other parks as well, where toys have been removed.