“Mommy, there’s a park over there!”
“No, honey, that’s just a construction zone. I think you’re seeing some of the construction workers’ equipment.”
For weeks, we went through this every time our travels took us past a newly-developed area in Sherwood Park… until one day I took a closer look and realized that my then-2.5-year-old daughter was right – there WAS a park over there!
It’s easy to see why I mistook Yohemas Park for a construction zone. The grey, black and yellow colours of the equipment give it complete camouflage in a neighbourhood on the rise. Yohemas Park is located at 130 Tisbury Street, just metres south of Sherwood Park’s Wye Road. It’s tucked away from that main drag, on a lovely little patch of land, bordered by a large condo building, a treed walking path and the aforementioned Tisbury Street.
Yohemas is a space-aged, modern looking playground, largely made up of cool climbing structures; thick, black ropes; and twisted and curved bars. There a few of the traditional park features – a set of swing, (2 little, 2 big) a compact, springy teeter-totter, and a couple of slides. It has some unique, aesthetically-pleasing design features – I love the giant glass beads embedded in the strange, not-quite-a-climbing structure. But I think our favourite feature of this unusual little park is the tiny toddler playground.
At first glance, Yohemas’ toddler park is just like any other. Shorter versions of all the favourites – slide, tunnel, climbing wall. It has some fun touches – more of the embedded glass beads; a tabletop with built-in funnel for sand play; a shape-sliding match game and a music zone with drums and bells. But arguably the best feature is a nondescript little strip of edging that runs around the structure’s perimeter.
We didn’t even notice this little ledge until at least our third visit to Yohemas. I followed its downhill path with my eyes and said to my girls, “It’s a car track! We’ll have to bring some Hot Wheels the next time we come!”
The sentence was barely out of my mouth when my daughter unearthed a tiny glass marble. We kept searching and found a total of four buried in the sand. We spent the next 20 or so minutes having marble races down the little black track.
When it was time to go, we left the marbles behind in hopes the next group of fun-seekers will make the same exciting discovery we did. No guarantees they are still there, so if you are going to visit Yohemas Park, toss a few marbles and Hot Wheels in your bag before you go. And if you have a tiny tot still in the “I put EVERYTHING in my mouth” stage, you’ll want to keep an extra close eye when he or she is digging in the sand.
Yohemas also features a picnic table and covered bench area. At time of writing, it’s only about a year old, so the sand is new and sparkly and clean! (well, as clean as park sand can be!) There is no bathroom or porta-potty on-site, and there are no businesses within sprinting distance, so make a potty stop before you arrive!
Where: 130 Tisbury Street, Sherwood Park
Map: www.salisburyvillage.ca (on this map, the playground is referred to as Waybury Park. It was renamed Yohemas Park in early 2018.)