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Canstar Community News
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This article was published 16/12/2016 (1334 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Members of the South St. Boniface Residents’ Association (SSBRA) have had their say about the future of the play structure in Happyland Park.
An open house information session was held recently by the City of Winnipeg at Archwood Community Centre to address the issues surrounding the future renewal of the playground, which included information boards providing assessments and considerations for improvements to the park.
The goal of the session was to obtain feedback from community members and park users and find out what activities they enjoy and improvements they would like to see. Visitors to the City’s website also had the opportunity to share their feedback online. At press time, the project was subject to 2017 capital budget approval.
Officials say the park, which is located in the southwest corner of Marion Street and Archibald Street, offers a range of activities and amenities, including a pool, disc golf course, a play structure and a skateboarding area. The park’s play structure was built more than 20 years ago and needs replacing.
According to Manitoba Historical Society’s website, the park was originally named Kiwanis Happyland Park and was a playground and pool operated by the Kiwanis Club of St. Boniface and officially opened in 1933.
"You can cut your feet on the bottom of the pool," said association member Sandra Dupuis, at the open house. "The changing rooms and showers are unfit and unsanitary, and the rusted bathroom doors don’t work properly."
"The kids in the area really need this park, it’s everything in this community. And at times, people can’t even get close to the river. The park has some of the greatest wildlife, but you can’t get down close as they don’t cut the grass regularly," she added.
Association member Teresa Cwik said the social demographics of the area’s residents enhance the importance of the play structure and the park to community members.
"Many of the parents of the kids in the area can’t afford the same things as others, and don’t have cottages or go to the beach in the summer, which makes the park an important place for them to go," Cwik said.
"And it’s not just little kids that use the park, but seniors, too."
Rachel Caceras has three children aged between nine and 15 and would like to see the playground fixed up.
"I’d really like to see the playground fixed. It’s awful, because the slides have been destroyed by vandals and the kids like to climb. It really needs a facelift," she said.
Coun. Matt Allard (St. Boniface) said at the open house that the event will help inform the City how to move forward with the renewal project.
"I’m pleased to see the community come out tonight and give feedback on the $200,000 that I’ve pledged for the Happyland Park upgrades in the park enhancement program in the 2017 draft budget," Allard said.
"The playground is more than 20 years old and in need of a little TLC," he added, noting there might be $2 million worth of ideas discussed at the information session, so choices will need to be prioritized moving forward.
"The public service will now be compiling feedback. There’s been a strong participation from the community on this project, which I’m pleased about."
Community journalist — The Lance
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7111
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