A north Nanaimo neighbourhood saw a vision come to fruition with the grand opening of Linley Point Gyro Park.
The park was officially unveiled at a ceremony on Saturday.
Colleen Broekhuizen, chairwoman of the Linley Point Gyro Park committee, approached the City of Nanaimo in 2015 seeking information about its Partners in Parks program in relation to an undeveloped 3.5-hectare piece of land between Rutherford Road and Linley Valley Drive. Through the city program, the assistance of Nanaimo Gyro Club, money was raised. The park features playground equipment and a basketball court.
Broekhuizen said the park is all she hoped it would be.
“From the perspective of the number of people that are here daily using it, yes, it’s everything I could have imagined and more,” said Broekhuizen. “The sport court is drawing a demographic I never expected, like 18-22-year-old men are here on a regular basis … the park is full and they’re really good; they’re good with the other kids. From the beginning that was our goal, so it was a multi-generational vision.”
Broekhuizen said the Gyro Club’s involvement was a pivotal moment in the park’s establishment. Once the club was on board, she felt that the effort had “a real backbone” and it could further fundraising efforts and work parties needed to build the park.
Mark Duncan, Nanaimo Gyro Club member, said his organization isn’t new to building parks, as it donated land that is now Maffeo Sutton Park. The Linley Point park represents the 10th park in Nanaimo, and third in the last five years, that the club has been associated with.
“We’ve been planning this park for the last two years,” said Duncan. “We held a sold-out beer-and-burger fundraiser, there’s been a bottle drive, auctions, raffle tickets, a lot of corporate donations, a lot of door-knocking for donations, so it’s really been a community effort in partnership with the Gyro Club.”
Duncan said a $35,000 grant was provided by the city, $100,000 in money was fundraised by the club and in-kind donations from numerous groups and people were all part the effort.
The park will also see a picnic shelter area, which will be completed shortly. A zipline will be added as well, said Duncan.