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Springhillers encouraged to provide input into new Mechanic Street play park

The Mechanic Street Play Park Committee, formed in the fall, is consulting with residents of Mechanic Street and surrounding streets, along with all Springhillers, to determine what kind of play park they would like built to replace the old one burned to the ground in June. The committee is made up of, from left, Vicki Weaver, Rachael Little, Coun. Maryanne Jackson, Nelson Bezanson, Will Balser, and Maggie Pitts. Bev Sharpe, the Mechanic Street community member on the committee, was unable to attend this meeting. Sharpe helped spearhead the drive to build the original hilltop playground on Mechanic Street.
The Mechanic Street Play Park Committee, formed in the fall, is consulting with residents of Mechanic Street and surrounding streets, along with all Springhillers, to determine what kind of play park they would like built to replace the old one burned to the ground in June. The committee is made up of, from left, Vicki Weaver, Rachael Little, Coun. Maryanne Jackson, Nelson Bezanson, Will Balser, and Maggie Pitts. Bev Sharpe, the Mechanic Street community member on the committee, was unable to attend this meeting. Sharpe helped spearhead the drive to build the original hilltop playground on Mechanic Street. - Dave Mathieson

Public meeting Dec. 10 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Springhill Teen Centre

AMHERST – If all goes well, children of all ages will have a new play park to enjoy at the top of Mechanic Street next June.

The previous playground brunt to the ground this past June.

“The playground that was there reached five to 12-year-olds, so we’re looking at something more intergenerational,” said Vicki Weaver, Recreation and physical activity co-ordinator with the Municipality of Cumberland County. “We want to have something for the little kids, for the teens, for the adults, for the seniors, and for everybody.”

The Mechanic Street Play Park Committee has met several times since mid-October, and on Dec. 10, they will hold a public meeting to receive input about what people would like to see in a new park.

“We’re inviting them to an open house. We’re going to provide food, snacks and child care for those who might need it,” said Weaver.

There is currently an online survey where people can also answer questions.

“During that open house meeting we’re going to have four main questions we want to ask, which are in the survey,” added Weaver. “They are broad, open questions where we hope to engage people in a fun way.”

Municipal councillor Maryanne Jackson hopes the new park has more features than the old one.

“Because the playground was burnt down, instead of just replacing with what was there, it’s an opportunity to engage the community and find out what they would like and what would work,” said Jackson. “If we’re going to replace it we might as well make it better.”

While handing out the invitation to the public meeting, Rachel Little, active living co-ordinator in Springhill, ran into some young boys on Mechanic Street who were excited by the opportunity to provide input into the park.

“One of them said they really want a swing because they didn’t have one up there,” said Little.

The county received insurance money after the park was destroyed, and that money will help, but it is also hoped that municipal, provincial, and federal money can be used to build the new play park.

“I don’t want them to go the summer without something there, so hopefully Phase One will be built in the spring and the summer,” said Jackson.

The public meeting is Monday, Dec. 10, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Springhill Teen Centre located inside the Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Centre in Springhill.

To fill out the online survey, go to: https://www.plancumberland.ca/playground

Info box:

The survey asks these questions:

What would be in your ideal outdoor space/park?

What can we provide in this outdoor space/park that would meet the needs of all ages and abilities?

What would encourage you or your family to use the outdoor space/park in all seasons?

How can we connect this park to the community?

Find the survey at:

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