What was once an unpaved parking lot across from the Nick Nicolle community centre has been transformed into a brand new playground for families in the old north end.
The Kiwanis North End Play Park at the corner of Durham and Victoria Streets is now officially open after a ceremony and ribbon cutting. The project in one of Saint John’s priority neighborhoods has been in the making since 2011 when Kiwanis, ONE Change and River Cross Church teamed up to make it a reality.
Over 150 volunteers and 50 organizations took park in the project.
“When we were doing the work itself, it was done entirely by volunteers. It was done by volunteers, more than 150 volunteers who worked for the last four months day in and day out on this project,” executive director of ONE Change Barry Galloway tells CHSJ News.
“And that was important to us as well because most of these volunteers come from the neighbourhood and we wanted them to own it and be part of its development and protect it and I’m already seeing that that’s happening.”
Jennifer London lives on Waring Street, is on the board of directors for the Nick Nicolle community centre and is a mom of four.
“I’m really excited about [the playground] because the other ones aren’t the best for children and there’s usually some drugs around them and so I’m really glad to see this one. The kids have been begging me to play on it for months now,” London tells CHSJ News.
Teri Hogan is a mom and grandmother who also lives in the old north end and works for ONE Change.
“The kids needed someplace where they could go and play and know that it’s safe,” says Hogan.
On Saturday at 2pm there will be another ceremony and a BBQ to celebrate the park.