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This article was published 27/11/2017 (812 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Meadows West community, the Winnipeg School Division and the City of Winnipeg honoured a community educator and children’s advocate by giving his name to a local park.
On Nov. 20, Rose Hill Park located right beside Meadows West School, on the east side of Garton Avenue between Inkster Garden Drive and Rose Hill Way, was renamed Roger Le Grand Park, honouring MWS principal Roger Le Grand.
Years ago, Rose Hill Park was in bad shape. The playground structure was unsafe for kids, the park had poor water drainage, and there was a need for more seating. Le Grand was a fierce advocate to fix the park and worked closely with Point Douglas ward Councillor Mike Pagtakhan to get the redevelopment going.
"As an educator, community member and a lifelong North Winnipeg resident, Le Grand has dedicated himself to advocating for children and the importance of learning for all," Pagtakhan said.
Le Grand, who’s been MWS principal for 11 years, was worried that the community didn’t have any recreational feature accessible to its residents.
In October 2016 a new playground structure with timber edging and safety surfacing was installed in the park at the cost of approximately $140,000. During the first phase of the 2017 renewal project, an accessible six-foot-wide asphalt multi-use fitness trail was constructed around the periphery of the park, making connections to the existing east and west park entrances.
The fitness trail also includes several outdoor workout stations. Site drainage has been improved near the playground with the installation of a catch basin and new soil and sod regrading. Also, 17 trees were added to the park.
A second phase of the 2017 renewal project included the installation of a shade shelter and U-shaped seating area near the playground structure. At the third stage, a partnership with the Meadows West School, they secured funding for the installation of additional 16 trees.
"I am truly honoured and humbled by this act of kindness," he said, emotional. "I was totally surprised and feel very unworthy of such an honour. However, when you’re made to reflect on the many things you have accomplished as a teacher and administrator you begin to recognize the impact your work does have on others."
Le Grand always had a passion for teaching young people, and his passion for learning is something he wanted to share with people. He has been a strong voice and supporter for the Meadows West School and for the parents and the local community in making the Meadows West area a better and safer community, Pagtakhan added.
Roger Le Grand Park plays a significant role in bringing the community together, from the Indo-Canadian community who advocated for benches to the 600 students that spend their break hours playing at the new play structures.
"The park may have my name, but it is certainly not my park, it is your park, and I know you will take care of it, you’ll share it with your family and your friends and it will be here maybe even for your children," Le Grand told the kids at the dedication ceremony.
Community journalist — The Times
Ligia Braidotti is the community journalist for The Times. Email her at email@example.com