TRURO – Plans are underway for a community park on Aberdeen Street, with the hopes of work starting in the spring.
“With the closing of the Alice Street and Douglas Street schools, there is no green space on this side of town other than Victoria Park,” said DeAnne Pelchat, the school and community development agent with Ecole acadienne de Truro, who researched the needs within the community and the school. “I’ve also been looking at the need for our green space.”
Since September, the plans for a natural playground have been moving forward with the help of the home and school board.
“We want to make it as community-based as possible. It’s very user-friendly for all to enjoy.”
While the park would sit on the school’s property, it will be available for everyone in the community to enjoy.
“It will have three accessible paths, one which comes directly from the residential area,” she said while looking at a conceptual drawing.
The playground, which has an estimated cost of $350,000, will see gardens and plant life incorporated.
“We want to re-establish our link with nature,” Pelchat explained, noting there will also be what she calls a
‘Mi’kmaw sanctuary’ to honour First Nations culture.
“Because of the layout, it will accommodate a large amount of children. It’s almost two acres in size.”
With work expected to begin in the spring, Pelchat said re-doing pathways and grading the land will soon be done.
A baseball diamond in disrepair will be disassembled, and a basketball court will be resurfaced. There will also be a path with stairs in the park, as well as a wet and dry brook.
Pelchat said funding from the park will come from various places. She will be applying for grants through the provincial government and the Municipality of Colchester County. She said the Town of Truro will also be approached to help with funding.
“We’re also in the process of looking at different fundraisers,” she said, adding the home and school board will be the ones to organize the fundraisers.
“Currently, we have a fundraiser for the naming of the park. For one dollar, someone can leave an idea for the name of the park with their name and if they’re the lucky winner, they will be the special guest at the ribbon-cutting ceremony,” Pelchat said.
The naming contest is open to all residents, and people can enter more than once. Entries can be done through the school, or online at http://aberdeenpark.wix.com/construction.
Along with the community park, Pelchat said the school is hoping to open its doors to the community in the future.
“The school is attached to Centre communautaire francophone de Truro, and we hope to offer community programs,” she said. “We hope to open our doors and use the school for its full potential.”