Neighbours in Nanaimo’s Northfield-Dufferin area have a new and improved facility at Forest Drive Park.
Residents celebrated the official opening of the upgraded community park last month with a barbecue, ribbon cutting, and presentations of prints of murals on display.
The project to renovate, improve and beautify the 0.2-hectare park was initiated through the city’s Volunteers in Parks program.
It was also the first Nanaimo community park improvement funded through a new model, with $70,000 provided by the city and $30,000 raised by neighbours.
Shawna Drinnan, Forest Drive Park volunteer coordinator, drafted the fundraising proposals, obtained bids for two Little Tykes playground systems with slides, climbing nets, and tunnels.
Artist Yvonne VanderKooi creating four park murals depicting tales and themes shared with her by residents. She also facilitated community-based art projects with area families, producing 12 silhouettes and smaller panels painted by neighbourhood kids.
Ian Thorpe, Nanaimo parks committee chairman, congratulated the residents for creating a healthy, fun, safe place for kids and families from the 200 homes nearby to enjoy the outdoors.
Future phases of Forest Drive Park will include a community garden, shade tree planting, and a multi-purpose court.
“We love it,” said Laura Suski. “It was great to have the whole community involved in the project and really nice to have the colourful art to enjoy.”