By Stephen Dafoe
CFB Edmonton – With the installation of new playground equipment completed, three playgrounds were officially reopened July 20, a rejuvenation made possible through a $250,000 grant from Sturgeon County. The quarter million in funding was granted last fall through the County’s Capital Agricultural/Recreation Facility Development Grant (CARF), a five-year program started in 2006 to support leisure and fitness facilities in the hamlets, towns and city that make up Sturgeon County.
Under the sound of drum and pipes, the base’s children, parents and visiting dignitaries from as far away as Ottawa were marched around Crescent Park as a prelude to the official ribbon cutting ceremony.
Base Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Tom Bradley said he was pleased with the support from Sturgeon County to make the upgrades possible.
“We are very, very privileged to live in the community that we live in,” Bradley said. “Sturgeon County and our friends at Sturgeon County provided us with the money that allowed us to modernize the park to be where it’s at today. And you are going to be able to enjoy this for the next couple of years because of our friends in the County here.”
Sturgeon County Deputy Mayor Don McGeachy was also pleased the County was able to lend its support.
“We’ve been trying to increase our presence and footprint with the base and working together,” McGeachy said. “They’re part of our community as well and followed the grant process to the letter. This is just a great opportunity for us to work together and to continue working together in the future. After seeing all these happy expressions on these kids faces, it’s going to be a great relationship that’s going to continue to grow, and for the benefit of the whole community.”
One of those happy faces was nine-year-old Issaic Moser, a visitor from Ontario, who was impressed with the new facility.
“This park is cool and it’s been improved with a lot of stuff,” Moser said.
Although children swarmed the playground after the ribbon cutting to make full use of the new equipment installed in Crescent Park, it is but one of three playgrounds upgraded with the CARF funding. A total of $210,000 of the grant was used on the three playgrounds. Crescent Park received playground equipment for two age groups of children, while Triangle Park received equipment for older children and Gopher Park installed equipment for younger children.
The remaining $40,000 of grant funding will be used to build a driving range on the base.