Children of all ages clambered on swings sets and monkey bars at Glen Cedar Park as they celebrated the official opening of the revamped playground.
They weren’t the only ones rejoicing.
The opening of the park in Cedarvale was the culmination of a years-long project that saw community members work together to raise $100,000 to install modern and safe play equipment.
Lee Grunberg, a co-chair of the Glen Cedar fundraising committee, said the idea emerged a year and a half ago when residents discovered the municipal government could provide $100,000 to their ward to redevelop the park.
“When we found out what we would get for the space, we created a fundraising idea to get better and safer equipment,” he said.
Soon, members of the community had created the Brick by Brick campaign, selling engraved bricks for a walkway, as a way to raise money. Residents warmed to the idea, and naming rights to 200 bricks were sold. Sponsors also purchased engraved tree plaques for $1,000, and two corporate sponsors donated large sums for benches in the park.
The old wooden structures and swings have been replaced with a modern complex of slides, swings and an array of climbing equipment, including a dinosaur-shaped structure, spinning wheel and log roll. The new playground features a soft rubber surface to reduce injury and a landscape of rolling hills and trees.
Daniel Freeman said safety was one of the key issues in the redevelopment of the park.
The father said he played on the old park equipment as a child in the 70s and agreed it had to go.
“This park is great,” his son Zachary said. “You can explore it and go from place to place.”
Councillor Joe Mihevc said he was proud of the park and the work of its users.
“I think it is true that the community built the park, but it is also true that the park built the community,” he said.
The park is also a place where families can gather to reflect on their accomplishment, Grunberg said.
“This is going to be a centrepiece for the Cedar Glen community.”
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