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This article was published 8/7/2014 (1952 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Transcona Playground Renewal Association’s (TPRA) final project was officially marked on June 28.
The organization, which began in 2006 and helped fix over 20 playgrounds in the neighbourhood, took part in a City of Winnipeg event commemorating the dedication of Dave Abel Park. In addition to the name change from Harold Avenue East Park, the site (430 Harold Ave. E.) received a new play structure and sidewalks to highlight the improvements, valued at just under $120,000 and paid for with different grants.
TPRA president Peter Martin explained the association first started when there wasn’t an effective way for the public to contact government about the state of local parks.
However, with Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona) playing an integral role in the group’s founding, there isn’t a need to have the corporation in the community, as more direct connections like 311 now exist, Martin said.
"They go to their councillor and they flag it to the city," Martin said, adding the parks and recreation department will then inspect the park to see what kind of shape it is in. "They’ll come out and look. There is money for it."
Organizers estimated approximately 50 people showed up to the dedication despite little advance community notification.
"We didn’t really send out flyers to the neighbourhood. People came out, saw people here, saw kids playing on the equipment, and that makes me feel good," vice-president Barb Culbertson said. "We replaced it and it’s being used — and well-used."
Martin explained the recently-unveiled upgrades at Oxford Heights Community Centre were the last in which the organization had a hand, though the Dave Abel Park ceremony ended up being scheduled afterward. He added since the TPRA has closed its books and is just finishing up its final audit, the organization couldn’t officially host an event, and was glad to be asked by Wyatt to be involved.
"We came back together because our group is no longer. We came back together to do it for them," Culbertson said.
Abel, meanwhile, has served on the Casera Credit Union board of directors since 1985 and served as its president since 1995. He helped start the 10th Transcona Scout Group in 1978 and was a leader for 23 years. He also helped with the Transcona Nationals football team, the former Pirates Community Club girls’ soccer team, and currently is the property chair at St. George’s Anglican Church.