The residents who made Crawford Bay’s new playground possible are inviting the community to come play.
A grand opening for the playground is being held 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday to celebrate the volunteers and sponsors who renovated the park this year.
The finished product, which is aptly called the Enchanted Play Garden, was designed and built entirely by local volunteers.
Ellie and Charles Reynolds led the project through six weeks of construction with six other helpers.
“We came to the conclusion that in a small town, you don’t wait for other people to build things for you. You just take responsibility and do it yourself,” said Ellie Reynolds.
Its construction was made possible in July when Crawford Bay won a $20,000 award for finishing as a runner-up in BC Automobile Association’s Play Here contest. Over 500 playgrounds were nominated for the award, with just five communities receiving money.
The total cost of the playground was just under $50,000, with $10,000 coming from the Nelson and District Credit Union while the rest came through sponsorship and fundraising. Yellowhead Road and Bridge also donated machinery time.
Reynolds said the old playground was a source of local shame.
“It was just such a running joke of embarrassment,” she said.
“It was just this A-frame swing that held together by duct tape for five years and there was the merry-go-round, which is still there. We kept the nostalgic bits on the park that were still functional. But it was so neglected and lonely and sad looking before.”
The new park features several musical features and a water feature. The majority of work was finished just prior to Starbelly Jam in July, which gave Reynolds her first chance to see how the public interacted with the new toys.
“I love the fact that the music brings in people of all ages so it’s not just a children’s park,” she said.
“We’ve regularly seen teenagers and adults using the instruments. In terms of what I saw during Starbelly, the biggest hit was the water pump. From first thing in the morning until they got dragged home there were kids all over that water pump and sand area.”