Town staff and council, Rotary Club members and people of the community gathered to celebrate the grand opening of a new playground park in Riverside, centered between 45th and 46th Street.
Put on the ground mid-July by Habitat Systems, out of British Columbia, the project has been on the minds of Rotary Club members and the Town of Ponoka since 2003. Wes Amendt, director of community services, says the site was identified that year as a potential site for a new playground.
Last summer the Rotary Club approached the town about moving forward with the project. “We were shovel ready,” said club president Cameron Chisholm.
“It met our criteria for what we were looking for, for park development in the area,” Amendt added.
The playground equipment and other project costs, such as trucking and pea gravel, brought the total to approximately $35,000. “Parks are so expensive because there are all these standards,” said Chisholm.
The project was supported by several community volunteers and sponsors, including the Town of Ponoka, Ponoka County, Inland Concrete, Inland Aggregates and Tim Horton’s. “They gave a sizeable cash donation,” said Chisholm.
“It takes a community to come together to put together projects like this,” Amendt added.
With Highway 53 separating Riverside in two, a need for a playground in the area was identified. “The neighbourhood really wasn’t much on this side if the road,” said Chisholm.
The area, formerly known as Riverside Park, was undeveloped green space.
Further development of the park is already being planned, according to Chisholm.