“MOM! There’s a big BUG here!”
That was not a complaint – it was a shriek of delight before my daughter could even scramble out of her carseat! From the parking lot she could already see the giant green bouncy grasshopper, smiling from its perch at the edge of the playground.
The grasshopper keeps a watchful eye on Otter Park – the school playground at Monsignor Fee Otterson Elementary in the Rutherford neighbourhood of South Edmonton.
After a quick bounce on “Greenie”, as he was dubbed, my daughters moved on to exploring the rest of the nature-themed playground. They followed little green footprints on the rubber park base (the entire park has rubber flooring!) from feature to feature.
There are stumps to hop, a wooden wall to traverse, a log to tunnel through and even a tree to climb up to a treehouse-like platform, complete with leaf canopy and nailer boards proclaiming that “Kidz Rule”.
Rock climbers will love this park – there’s both a rock wall face leading up to the silver curly slide, and a giant boulder at the edge of the park – perfect for scaling and scoping out the scene from high above.
Following the footsteps led us to more great discoveries. Otter Park has an infinity climber with a full spider web in the middle.
Sprinkled around the parks edges are spinners of all varieties, including my favourite, the umbrella spinner. There’s also a unique orange merry-go-round, with moulded seats as well as platforms and handles for standing.
The toddler park is worth a mention. It follows the treehouse theme, with the branches sitting atop a little cabin. There are a variety of ways to get up and down, including a perfect length fire pole, ideal for new sliders.
Otter Park is surrounded by a variety of benches and also has a covered picnic area with four tables. There’s a huge field for playing sports, as well as a spacious paved area beyond the parking lot that would be perfect for basketball, scooters or bikes. During our visit, which happened when school was out for summer, there was a porta potty on site. The location is just a short drive to the Ellerslie/Southbrook shopping area, which includes coffee shops, grocery stores and a couple of fast food restaurants.