Playground for a Polar Bear’s Picnic
The Churchill part of the Hudson Bay Lowlands is replete with strange and obscure little corners. One of the strangest is this “playground that time forgot,” hidden away behind trees and boulders near the shore road between town and the airport. I assume that it was built back in army days and served for the entertainment of children who lived on the base. It is in the same area as the “golf course,” which always seemed a humorous name since this area of bog, boulders, and stunted black spruce is as far from a golf course as you can get, this side of the continental slope.
You might note that my photos of this playground are limited in their viewpoint and angles; these were constrained because I was shooting from the vehicle. When we arrived here we had just been surprised by an immense polar bear as we photographed roches moutonnées along the road, and it didn’t seem to be worth pursuing better photos if it meant that I might serve as the primary protein for a polar bear’s picnic.
Although it feels abandoned, someone seems to be maintaining this place at least in a basic way, so maybe it receives the occasional visit from children when the bears are absent. Or maybe the bears like a good seesaw.
The ancient teeter-totter and roundabout would, in all likelihood, not be considered acceptable in a city playground that adheres to modern safety standards. But given the frequent visits from Ursus maritimus, these are probably relatively minor issues if you are considering the overall safety of this particular pleasure park.
Happy New Year!
© Graham Young, 2015