Park play structure with backpacks


With fewer restrictions and more activities in place, students can return to school this year knowing they can receive a full school experience. This means looking forward to extracurricular activities like sports, field trips and more social time with friends and family.

To help make this school year even more special, we decided to participate in the Backpack Challenge hosted by Waterloo Regional Police Services. The Challenge encourages residents to purchase new backpacks, lunch bags and school supplies to be donated to our region’s children and families in need. More than 7,000 backpacks have been collected during the past four years, along with thousands of dollars in gift cards and school supplies. These donations help to ensure children in the region have an exciting back-to-school experience and are prepared for the year ahead.

Backpack donation at WRPS headquarters with staff

This year Polocorp donated over 80 backpacks and lunch bags to the Backpack Challenge community initiative.

The return to school may also mean meeting some new friends and faces. Community playgrounds and spaces offer a relaxed environment in which residents can connect and get to know one another. New friendships are formed, and a sense of community develops that’s important for good mental health and a feeling of belonging.

Children playing on playground structure

Children enjoying Sundew Park in our Vista Hills community

The importance of community building and creating spaces for this is something we have always encouraged in our developments. Our Vista Hills community, for example, has multiple parks and play spaces throughout (10 to be exact!). In the past we have helped to support the Vista Hills community by donating to playgrounds and the Vista Hills Public School, creating fun and safe places for families to interact.

Visa Hills Public School exterior

As we plan for our future developments, we have been actively seeking ways to create better urban parks and spaces focused on children and families. This means incorporating playgrounds and features that allow children and families to be safe, close to key amenities and necessities and offer accessible modes of transportation to reach school, work, and activities more easily. This allows families to have more time to spend with each other.

While it’s easy to think of parks and playgrounds as amenities for children, they’re important to the success of the whole community. It’s become increasingly crucial that community parks and playgrounds be as accessible and inclusive as possible. In doing so, the community becomes inclusive and connected.

Concept design of an urban park

Concept of an urban park in Kitchener.

As we approach the end of summer break and gear up for another year of learning and social activities, we want to wish all the students in the region a safe and happy return to school. We encourage you to use the parks and recreation spaces in your community and benefit from them as places to grow healthy individuals, communities, and environments.

Playground and stucture in neighbourhood