by Ellie Reynolds
Have you driven past Crawford Bay Community Park lately and done a double take? Maybe you’ve even taken the scenic route to get a better look. On Wednesday May 17th YRB assisted us in our first big day building the playground. Digging our fall zones, delivering our equipment (that they had kindly stored for us in their Creston yard over winter) moving the equipment to our desired location. They did it with incredible skill, timing and good humour. We are beyond grateful for the help we have received from YRB – the in-kind donation of time, man and machine power have saved us thousands of dollars and we would be years away from building our dream park without their support.
Since then, we have, to date, been at the playground every day for a whole week now, working long hours with our three young children in tow, to make this playground happen. What we are doing, along with some help from exceptional volunteers, is transforming that space from something neglected and sad into something beautiful – that feels, sounds and looks good. We designed it for the senses, for colour, texture, shape, for sensuous play with musical instruments, sand, water, grass and wood. We hope it will become somewhere where families will gather (actually that’s happening already). We want it to be a community-building space, truly used and enjoyed. The encouragement and appreciation we have received have helped us to continue to put in 10-14 hour days, for no remuneration, just for the joy of offering the community an exciting and unique play space, and the energising feeling that comes from seeing our idea finally become wood and concrete and gravel and sand musical instruments- and come to life.
It’s an amazing feeling to see change before your eyes in this way. The park looks so different at the end of each day – and lovelier than we could have pictured as we designed it on paper and on the computer CAD program. And the kids are coming! As parent volunteers show up, so do their kids and to watch them get so much from what we have installed thus far is very gratifying. I see lots of use in store for the season ahead. And adults are welcome to come and play too!
If I weren’t so exhausted from a long day labouring at the playground I would write more. Indeed, I could, by now, write a novel about this particular playground and the story of its conception, development, hurdles, and triumphs – but I’ll have to save that for next month’s Mainstreet when the project is (hopefully) finished.
In the meantime, in the name of public acknowledgement of our donors and to satisfy some curiosity about how much this playground has cost, I’m enclosing a recent copy of our budget (above). The balance doesn’t include some unpaid invoices, so really, we are close to having used all our funds. You can help us put finishing touches (benches, centre structure, signage, plants etc) with a donation. We have an online donation page (generosity.com/fundraisers/crawfordbayplayground) or you can donate directly at the Credit Union or leave cash or a cheque made to Community Connections with Sandy at CBESS. There are still volunteer opportunities, please email email@example.com if you would like to step up for jobs large and small.