Residents of Winnipeg highly value our neighbourhood parks and community centres.
Over time these treasured buildings, playgrounds and green spaces need some TLC or even a major reconstruction.
The Mayfair neighbourhood of Osborne Village is one of the lowest-income neighbourhoods in the city, and the community centre there has been nothing more than a tumbling down shack.
At long last, a brand-new centre is being constructed this season with funding from the city and province. There has been input from residents and a great deal of excitement about the design of this new building.
This year the city is also investing significant funds in Riverview, Wildwood and Fort Garry Community Centres.
Residents of the Taft-Stinson public housing complex in Lord Roberts are excited about the brand-new play structure and features which have gone up in Nassau Square Park. Last year at a community barbecue, residents spoke of their desire for better play equipment and a more functional park. Dreams do come true and it felt like a dream to see the faces light up when the neighbourhood kids saw the plans for their new park at this years barbecue!
Crescent Drive Park is a regional attraction that has seen a focus on its renewal and the formation of a new group: Crescent Park Rescue. This winter I was pleased to support a new pleasure skating rink and this summer we saw tree planting and other community events. I was able to achieve a commitment in the capital budget for 2014 to consider significant reinvestment in this beautiful park. I have asked that there be public input into the plans prior to the 2014 reinvestment.
Some of our parks are managed as naturalized areas, but over time they need some work to get rid of invasive weeds and to restore their beauty. This year we will see renewal of Don Gerrie Park beside Churchill Drive as well as Osborne on the Green on Stradbrook Avenue in the heart of Osborne Village. The city is working in collaboration with nearby condo owners in the Village who wish to support the park improvements.
Green spaces and play spaces are essential services that make our life in Winnipeg one of high quality. It takes investment to keep these places beautiful and commitment and involvement from community members is a big part of that.