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Rec facilities important throughout life

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Old Kildonan Ward Report

In many ways, playgrounds, parks and other recreational spaces are the heart of community life.


Surely, we can all remember days spent playing, running and being together at our own neighbourhood playgrounds. With spring just around the corner, those days spent outside with friends, family and neighbours are soon to be here again.


Part of my vision when running for City Councillor for Old Kildonan was to upgrade play structures throughout the ward, to improve recreational opportunities for youth and to help ensure we have strong community centres to help make Old Kildonan a vibrant and healthy place to live.


We are making good progress on this front. Over the past two years, neighbourhood playgrounds across our ward, including those in the Rivergrove, Riverbend, Amber Trails, the Maples and Garden City, have received a range of upgrades and repairs. These tot lots, as they are known, are now equipped to be safe, fun places for our children for many years to come.


My own son, now in second grade, still enjoys these community playgrounds and I remember how much we appreciated them when he was really little. He would easily spend a couple hours playing in the sandbox, just being a kid. I am glad to know that families with young children will have these places to create their own memories.


But obviously our youngsters are not the only ones who benefit from modern, well-equipped recreational facilities. Recreational opportunities for youth are equally important. Last summer, we opened upgraded tennis courts at Garden City Collegiate, and tennis and basketball courts at Maples Community Centre. Having high-quality facilities such as these is offering a positive outlet for our youth and helping to build an active, healthy community.


In fact, the desire for community recreation spaces continues throughout life. I have lived in this community most of my life and grew up in the Maples. I know first-hand that a small, community meeting space at the Maples Community Centre has become an evening gathering place for neighbourhood senior citizens who come almost nightly to visit and spend time with each other.


Last summer, we upgraded that space by installing new benches, picnic tables and accessible pathways. Having visited the seniors there, I know they are deeply appreciative of their renovated space.


There are more community recreation projects on the horizon with continuous plans for future playground upgrades. So, I welcome hearing from you about how your own neighbourhood playground is meeting your needs and about other issues as well.


I look forward to speaking with you regularly through this column.

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