A new playground is expected to be installed in Hazelwood Estates over the June 1 to 3 weekend.
The project is the result of collaboration between the Innisfail Kinsmen, the town and the province, explained Brian Spiller, a Kinsman and town councillor, during an open house for the plans held May 3 at the Innisfail Library/Learning Centre.
The playground, situated in the green space of Hazelwood just off Elmwood Way, will become part of a park space that will feature the playground, a picnic area and trails connecting to the other routes within Hazelwood.
“We can get further by working together,” said Spiller of the collaboration.
Dan Mekley, president of the Kinsmen said they were approached about three years ago by the town asking to work together on the project.
“This is probably the 10th playground we've built in Innisfail,” said Mekley. The group applied and received matching funding from the Community Facility Enhancement Program from the province towards the $112,000 price tag.
Mekley said the majority of funding is done through fundraising efforts within the Kinsmen group. One of their biggest events is their annual auction which was held over the weekend on May 5.
As long as the weather cooperates, crews with the town will start drilling holes June 1 said Mekley. On Saturday, the Kinsmen and volunteers will bolt the equipment before the cement gets poured and sets. The next day they'll add the additional equipment needed to complete the playground.
Proposed playground features include a swing set, three slides, a 12” wheel chair ramp, a nature climb, bug climb, stepping saucers and palm tree toppers.
Mekley said the feedback from the open house was positive. “In the past we wouldn't hold an open house like this. We would just build the playground and hand it over to the town.” He said having people in the neighbourhood where the park and playground are planned come out and view the plans has been beneficial. The Kinsmen were able to recruit members from the community to help volunteer their time to install the playground over the weekend.
After the playground is complete, the Kinsmen will hand the park over to the town for care and maintenance, he said of the next step.
As well, the town will work on creating trails that will connect to the other routes in the area. Asphalt is expected to be laid sometime next season to give the trail time to settle, explained Shelley Gagnon, director of community services.
There are also plans to bring in trees in the fall, build picnic tables and install garbage cans and erect a fence.