A new school year and a new splash pad – there was lots to celebrate in Fisher Park on September 3 as the newly renovated park in Wellington West was officially opened.
“We’re happy it’s back,” said Chole Campbell, mom of three active boys – Benny, 5 and 2-year-old twins Tommy and Maxy. “We use this park a lot.” Since May, the community park located behind the Elmdale Tennis Club at the corner of Byron and Holland Avenues has been closed for renovations.
After the summer-long wait, Campbell said the changes look really good. She was especially pleased with the newly added splash pad, which has a large playing area and colourful features like giant dragon heads and water cannons.
Wellington West’s Joy English, mother of 22-month-old Bodhi and 9-month-old Henry, was also impressed with the splash pad. She noted that with two kids under the age of two, wading pools are too nerve-wracking. “The splash pad is a good, safe way to keep a toddler cool.”
Kids didn’t wait for Mayor Jim Watson and Councillors Mark Taylor and Katherine Hobbs to officially open the splash pad. They figured out how to start the waters flowing and kicked off the party early. Those who preferred to stay dry explored the new rocket-shaped space net climbing structure, the two play structures and the swings.
The dozens of families who came to the opening also enjoyed complimentary gelato from Tree Gelato, Timbits and coffee from Rogers Community Cruiser and music from the Fourzando String Quartet.
Councillor Hobbs praised the Wellington Village Committee that took part in the two-year planning process leading up to these park improvements.
One thing that the Committee requested was plenty of seating areas from which parents could watch their kids at play. To this end, the park has more benches and picnic tables, as well as an attractive stone sitting wall that encircles much of the play area.
“I like how things are spaced out, and that there are lots of places to sit,” said Hintonburg’s Stacy Cauk who was sitting on a bench with neighbour Tiffany Simard, while they watched their four-year-olds at play.
“It’s nice that there is something for all ages,” noted Kelley Voros who was at the park with her children Olivia, 5, and Liam, 2, as well as 1-year-old niece Isla. She was also pleased with the widespread use of mulch, which provides a nice cushion for kids when they jump or fall.
Other new features of the park include realigned, widened and separated pathways with lighting, as well as two full-size basketball courts and practice keys, and improvements to the adjacent Elmdale Tennis Club.