Fate of bouncy pillow & playground at Maan Farms goes to ALC officials

Play area key part of farm’s mission to educate kids, Amir Maan says

Maan Farms is hoping the Agricultural Land Commission won’t order it to remove its popular kids’ play equipment.

In addition to the various crops it grows and U-pick fields, the popular agri-tourism family attraction boasts a jumping pillow, playground, tire fort and pedal cart track on its property. But the Agricultural Land Commission has taken a closer look at the operation and deemed those attractions to not be a “farm use.” And that means Maan Farms must get the ALC’s permission to keep the play equipment.

City and ALC staff have been meeting with the Maan family to discuss the kids’ equipment. In March, the ALC sent the Maans a letter saying that they needed to submit a non-farm use application to seek permission to keep the play activity area.

“After discussion between officials at the ALC, it was determined that the ‘bouncy pillow’, ‘pedal cart track’, ‘tire fort’, and ‘playground’ activities are large, permanent, and not related to the farming activities,” the ALC wrote.

The ALC does not appear to take issue with a second playground and slide complex at the farm’s northwest corner, near the petting zoo.

Amir Maan, the farm’s operations manager, suggested he wasn’t too concerned about having to deal with the ALC. He said the play areas are a part of the farm’s educational activities, which include hosting various school groups from around the Lower Mainland.

“We’re part of an industry that is changing drastically from one generation to the next and as farmers we’re seeing experiences and education becoming a large portion of our livelihood and what makes a sustainable business,” Maan said. “The ALC is just requesting to make sure that we are indeed providing people a fun area to learn about farming.”

“That’s exactly what we’re trying to do is to make farming fun with this area and we’re excited to be working with everyone to make that happen.”

RELATED: Sunflower Festival set to bloom at Maan Farms in Abbotsford

RELATED: Maan Farms fire destroys ‘goat hotel’


@ty_olsen
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