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Connecting Our Communities

Bolender Park zipline, Breslau splash pad among projects on tap for Woolwich foundation


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Steve Kannon
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A community newspaper journalist for more than two decades, Steve Kannon is the editor of the Observer.

The funding source for a host of recreation projects in the township over the past decade, the Woolwich Recreation Facilities Foundation plans to add to the list starting this month.

The latest proposal calls for the installation of a zipline feature at Elmira’s Bolender Park. The structure will be similar to the one installed five years ago in Gibson Park, only larger, WRFF’s Ruby Weber told councillors meeting Tuesday night.

Work is expected to get underway shortly.

As with the structure adjacent to the Kate’s Place playground, this zipline will be accessible to kids of all ages and abilities.

Also in Bolender Park, and with different kinds of strings attached, WRFF offered to contribute $20,000 towards the purchase of portable washrooms near the splash pad – itself another project funded through the foundation – but with conditions.

Weber asked the township to agree to differentiate men’s and women’s facilities – i.e. no urinals in the ladies’ room – and to look at moving them from their current location.

“They’re conditions that I think can be met,” she suggested.

Recreation director Ann McArthur said the washroom situation is already part of the plan, but noted the electrical supply is in place and moving it would cost more money. There are also accessibility concerns that would require a proper walkway to the restrooms.

Her department has been renting the higher-end portable washroom units, but plans to purchase them as a more cost-effective move.

Weber’s request to move them stems from the high-visibility location, which also happens to be a low spot in the parking lot that is prone to large puddles forming around the restrooms.

“My concern is the aesthetics – when you drive in, the first thing you see is the washrooms, not the park,” she said in response to a question from Mayor Sandy Shantz.

Also on the agenda is $5,000 towards a climbing wall at the Woolwich Memorial Centre, the project for which WRFF was originally launched.

Weber also noted there are now plans to move ahead with a $250,000 splash pad for Breslau.

Smaller in scale than the $500,000 project in Elmira, it’s a more manageable fundraising goal, she said, adding the effort would require a partnership between WRFF, the Breslau Lions Club and the township.

Weber plans to apply for grants available in 2020 and 2021 as part of financing drive that will also require a fundraising effort from the community.

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