The much anticipated, and COVID-19 delayed, park improvement project for the Niagara on the Green neighbourhood has been completed.
Funded from the 2019 town budget, it included replacing the play structure, updating the pergola sitting area, adding a couple of picnic tables, erecting a community bulletin board and installing a full-court basketball pad.
The project kicked off with a public open house in August 2019 where town staff gathered input from residents on their desires for the improvements. That led to the selection of the new play structure.
The town’s contractor was able to replace the play structure, update the pergola sitting area and lay the asphalt pad for the basketball court before the winter of 2019. It became evident that the basketball pad had some early drainage issues, which were corrected in the spring of 2020.
Then the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world in late winter and put a halt to any additional work. It also resulted in the park being off-limits due to the pandemic and the declared state of emergency.
When the restrictions were lifted in July, the contractor was quick to come back and fix the drainage issue on the basketball court. This prompted some neighbourhood teens to drag a portable basketball net onto the unfinished court.
It quickly became very popular for teens during the summer. The new play structure also became a popular spot for the children and their parents as evenings in the park became a centre of activity.
The community bulletin board was installed in the late summer at the request of the Glendale Task Force as a means to keep residents up-to-date on regional, town, neighbourhood and college news and events.
Finally, in late August, the contractors returned to put up the basketball hoops and nets, and paint the lines. The project was complete.
In an emailed statement, Lord Mayor Betty Disero said: “I am so pleased that the park improvements in Niagara on the Green are being well used. It is with thoughtful community input and collaboration that the staff were able to provide for this growing neighbourhood. I look forward to ongoing discussion in the future. Niagara on the Green is an important area in our town.”
Steve Hardaker has lived in Glendale for 10 years and is active in many community organizations.