It’s been nearly three years since Matthew Brewer stood near the former Parrsboro town hall and shared his vision for the property.
At the time, he and about 30 community volunteers were working toward the day when they could announce the development of a new playground near the downtown a reality.
That vision became reality on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, with the beginning of construction work on the playground portion of the project.
“There are a lot of words I could use, but fantastic, amazing and very satisfying are the first ones to come to mind,” Brewer, with the Parrsboro Playground Society, said as machines pushed earth around the property adjacent to where the former town hall building sat for many years before being demolished a couple of years ago. “When I started work on this, my kids were five and seven; now they’re nine and 11 – soon to be 10 and 12. It’s taken a long time to get here, but it’s been worth it.”
The playground will include an accessible artificial turf surface where three pieces of equipment will be installed. There will also be a large climbing structure and swings on a wood fibre surface, and a constructed play hill with slides and other features. It is hoped that construction of the playground can be completed by the end of June, however, that will be partly dependent on the weather and the availability of donated materials and services.
“We knew this was going to happen with the municipal, provincial and federal money all there and the fundraising that’s been done in the community,” Brewer said. “It really sinks in, though, when you see the equipment there and the ground-breaking; it’s going to happen. It’s another level of fantastic.
“We’ve had an amazing level of community support and it’s nice to show that after all that fundraising, all those donations, all those gifts and services, talks, meetings, committees and consultations, that it’s happening,” Brewer said.
Cobequid Trails Consulting Limited of Economy, Colchester County, has designed the playground and is supplying and installing the equipment.
The overall budget for the project is approximately $450,000. Sources of funding include a large and successful fundraising drive led by the Parrsboro Community Playground Society as well as contributions from all three levels of government.
Design work to re-purpose much of the rest of the site as a community park is ongoing, with construction to begin later this year and continue next year or beyond as funds become available.