Brooklands residents are celebrating the beginning of a new chapter, which includes an outdoor ice rink right in their neighbourhood.
On Sept. 17, the City of Winnipeg broke ground on a redevelopment project, which will see major renovations at Blue Bird and Lismore parks.
"We can all agree that parks and playgrounds are places where people can come together as a community, or just to enjoy as a family," Coun. Vivian Santos (Point Douglas) said at the news conference. She was joined by students and staff of Brooklands School.
Both parks will feature new picnic tables, benches, paths, sodding, and trees. A steel fire pit with seating will be added to Lismore Park, while Blue Bird Park will receive a new play structure and swing set.
The total cost of the project is $309,560, coming from the parks and recreation enhancement program and the land dedication reserve fund.
"Many of our western neighbourhoods have lost the ability to grow healthy community. Many neighbourhoods today have garages in their front yards. And people don’t even get to meet their neighbours, because they drive into their house and stay in it all day and all night, and then they drive out and drive away. They don’t even know the people who live next door," Rex Ferguson-Baird, principal of Brooklands School, said.
"Projects like this park renovation provide safe and enjoyable spaces for our families, to meet each other, to play, to exercise, to thrive."
There will also be space to install an outdoor ice rink during winter.
"Last year, we did a trial pleasure skating rink that was installed, which was highly successful and was well and widely used," Santos said.
"You know, it’s been about 14 years since there’s been an ice rink in Brooklands. And we look forward to using the ice surfaces, as do the countless students who have learned to skate through our hockey program," Ferguson-Baird said.
Construction will begin the week of Sept. 21 and is expected to be completed between mid- to late October.
Public engagement began September 2019. The City held a public workshop to consult with local residents about the two parks, which are located on either side of Oddy Street. Input was also collected through an online survey.
More information, including preliminary designs, can be found online: www.winnipeg.ca/ppd/PublicEngagement/BluebirdLismore/default.stm#tab-preliminarydesigns
The Times community journalist
If The Buggles’ 1979 breakout single were about Sydney, it might be called Print Killed the Radio Star. Before she joined Canstar Community News, Sydney was an anchor and a reporter for a few local news radio stations in rural Manitoba. After realizing she enjoyed writing more than speaking, Sydney moved to Winnipeg just months after graduating from Carleton University in Ottawa with degrees in journalism and geography. Through clenched teeth and frostbitten fingers, she has come to appreciate Winnipeg — numbing winters and all. When she’s not in the newsroom, Sydney can be found playing card games, listening to music, and writing content for her friends who are too cheap to hire a PR team. Sydney has a strong heart for community news and believes every neighbourhood, town and city is better off because of it — although she may be biased. Sydney loves learning about communities and what makes them tick, which is why she’s grateful to be a reporter covering northwest Winnipeg neighbourhoods, where resilience and innovation is abundant. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org