About a year ago, when the Stettler Kinettes and the many volunteers and helpers from the Town of Stettler broke ground for the new Kin Playground at West Stettler Park, Mother Nature showed up with a fantastic amount of rain.
This year, as the group once again gathered at the now-complete playground, this time for the grand opening celebration and barbecue, Mother Nature once again graced the group with a torrential, but fortunately short, rainfall.
The rain may have kept some people away, but not enough that the new playground wasn’t soon swarming with both children and adults, who came to explore and get to see the new structure.
Though it has been open since last fall, the club was waiting for the final touches — thank you signs and grass seed — before holding the grand opening, which took place last Wednesday, Aug. 10.
Newalta was on hand, serving up free hotdogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks to attendees, and before the evening was done, and in spite of the sporadic rain, had dished up more than a hundred meals to the community.
The Kinettes decided on the park as their major project because there was “nothing in the area,” vice-president Allison Baird explained. “Kids had to cross the highway to go to a playground.”
Through donations from the community, in-kind labour and materials donations, and a grant, the club was able to break ground last October on the playground, which is valued at $275,000.
“The park went up in two-and-a-half days,” Baird said, praising the many volunteers who came out to make the park go up in almost no time.
The recycled tire base provides full access to the park, meaning children and adults alike with mobility issues, such as wheelchairs, can go to play.
“It makes the playground accessible, is environmentally friendly, and great for little kids,” Baird noted. The springy, gravel-free ground means trips and tumbles result in less nasty scrapes.
The Kin Kids also held a concurrent bake sale, raising $277, Baird said. The money goes into the group’s community service account and will be dished out to community projects later in the year.
As for the next major project for the Kinette Club of Stettler, Baird said ideas are still in the air and nothing has yet been decided.