Two years, four long hard days, tons of volunteers and $250,000.
That’s what it took for the Ponoka Kinettes and Ponoka Lions to complete the Centennial Park Playground project, which was finished on Saturday, May 28 and was already being well used by children of all ages an hour after the site was cleared that night.
The project is the largest of the playgrounds that have been constructed in Ponoka with the help of service clubs such as the Kinettes and Lions. The equipment is also among the most up-to-date with regards to giving children opportunities to learn and try various physical and fun activities along with some definite favourites from the past. In addition, the project included the construction of five gazebos, complete with tables, around the splash park and playground for families to use for picnics or simply to sit down and get out of the sun.
That wasn’t an issue for most of the first three days of the construction project, as cool wet weather battered the area and complicated things slightly.
Kinettes Club president Lindsay Kaupp stated the weather was something they had to manage with, even with the fact the area the playground was being placed on was under several inches of water the night before the project was to begin, but the perseverance of the volunteers won out in the end.
“The rain was definitely a hurdle we had to overcome, but the volunteers got it all done and on time,” Kaupp said.
“The Lions, Kinettes and the businesses worked well together on this project and we even saw people come to help out that had never been out before or were new to the community and want to get involved in this as their way of making a connection to their community. There were also a lot of questions asked about the project and the community, so there was a lot of interest out there in what was being done.”
Kaupp added that with the completion of this playground, there will continue to be future opportunities for people to get involved as there are other playgrounds – she specifically mentioned the one now being planned for Ponoka Elementary – and other projects coming up that will need their support.
This specific project was made possible by the financial and other contributions from the County of Ponoka, Town of Ponoka, the Kinettes, the Lions and Chicks for Charity.
“With their support, we were able to receive a Community Facility Enhancement Program grant of $100,000,” said Leanne Reed with the Kinettes.
“Along the huge number of businesses that provided volunteers, equipment, supplies, food, drinks – it was amazing to see what happens in just four days. We are so lucky to live in a small community with a great spirit of volunteering and service. We are so grateful for that support.”