Belmont Kids' Park Campaign

Thank You Libro Financial and Belmontonians!

The build is on!

We continue to be amazed at the support for this community project. We have recieved over $12,000 in indivdual donations and just got awarded $15,000 from Libro. The build is on and we have recieved great support from Van Gorp Drainage, Lind Lumber, Dave Pencz Electrical, Leaf Landscaping and local youth including Charles Roberts, Mackie Roberts, Derek Baskerville & Drew Finch. We will let everyone know as soon as the park is up and running. Thank you to our community for the support.

The Community Kick-Off was a HIT!

Trillium Foundation funds over a third of Belmont splash/skate park

kick off photo

by Craig Bradford
of The Aylmer Express

There were plenty of smiles and the strength of the Belmont community was on full display on the second floor of the Belmont Arena and Community Centre at lunchtime last Friday.

About 50 children with parents, caregivers and local dignitaries attended a luncheon and ceremony to celebrate the announcement of a $111,900 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant towards the Belmont Splash Pad and Skate Park that day. The grant funds more than a third of the total estimated $300,000 project that will be constructed behind the arena complex in Don Yeck Park west of the pavilion.

Project organizers have already contacted equipment suppliers and the splash pad and skate park will be completed next spring with the hope to have it operational before that time. Local contractors will be used as much as possible and organizers hope they will offer their services in-kind.

With the Trillium grant, the Belmont Kids’ Park Campaign has now raised $242,900. Contributions include $70,000 from the Municipality of Central Elgin, $20,000 from Westminster Mutual Insurance, $11,000 from the Matt Price Memorial Golf Tournament (plus all proceeds from the next three annual tournaments) and $10,000 each from the HUB (Helping Unite Belmont), Belmont Lions Club and Next To Mom child care.

Most of the children at the event were from Next To Mom, located near the arena.

Central Elgin has agreed to prepare the site and to maintain the park. Maintenance and operational costs are estimated at $6,000 annually.

The $300,000 cost estimate for the splash pad and skate park includes design, engineering, water features, landscaping, installation and a donor recognition board.

The site was chosen because of its accessibility, central location, existing playground, parking availability and access to electricity, water and existing washrooms. It is also a high traffic area for children with the nearby soccer fields and baseball diamonds.

Use of the splash pad and skate park will be free for everyone.

Elgin-Middlesex-London Progressive Conservative MPP Jeff Yurek was the first dignitary to speak at the celebration.“Who’s ready to go onto a splash pad here?” he asked with a grin. The comment solicited shouts of joy and “I am!” from the children in the crowd.

MPP Yurek said the Belmont venture is the third splash pad to receive funding from the Trillium Foundation in his riding over the past year. The others are located in Aylmer and Thorndale.
“Make sure you splash your parents!” he told the children.

He then presented the co-chairmen of the Belmont Kids’ Park Campaign, Sue Beattie and Dione Hildenbrand, with a certificate.

Trillium Foundation grant review team volunteer Brian George credited the hard work and dedication of the volunteers behind the project as the biggest contributing factors for a successful grant application.

Central Elgin Mayor Bill Walters said he was pleased to address the crowd for such an occasion full of “young future voters.”

Mayor Walters recognized Central Elgin officials Ward 5 Councillor Rob McFarlan and Director of Physical Services Lloyd Perrin for their hard work on behalf of Belmont residents.

“Hats off to you for all of the work that you’ve done,” Mayor Walters said to everyone involved with the Belmont Kids’ Park Campaign. “Thirty months ago you appeared in front of council with an idea and since that time you’ve raised over $242,000. It shows what we can do when we work and pull together for a project benefitting our children. I hope all of you young folks go out and use it as well as some of you older folks.”

Cr. McFarlan marvelled at the amount of funds that have been raised so far for the project.

“Back in the 1950s, you could build three or four arenas for that!” he said.

“I challenge the mayor to a splash off once this comes together,” he added.

HUB President Carrie Lewis said she moved to Belmont about eight and half years ago and during that time the community keeps “growing bigger and getting better.”

“HUB has a vision which includes bringing a community together which (this project) definitely does.”

Westminster Mutual Insurance Director Doug Crockett started his remarks with a self-deprecating remark.

“It’s very seldom I’m taller than everyone else,” he joked, referring to his short stature and the many children in attendance.

He said thanks should be given to the unidentified person who filled out the successful Trillium Foundation application.

Event emcee and Belmont Kids’ Park Campaign volunteer Chris Huctwith said Lions Club representatives indicated they didn’t want to address the crowd.

“The Lions Club are those sneaky people behind the scenes that help,” he quipped. “They’re not speaking today but they are donating $10,000 towards the project.”

Sandra Price, the mother of Matt Price who died in 2007 at age 17 in a car collision and founder of the Matt Price Memorial Golf Tournament, was overcome by emotion when she approached the podium and asked for a tissue to clear the tears from her eyes.

Matt was an avid skateboarder and the Belmont skate park will serve as a memorial to him.
“I can’t think of a better legacy than a skate park to be named in his honour,” Mrs. Price said through her tears.

Next To Mom partner Laura Morris said she was excited along with the children that the project was coming to fruition, adding her business would sponsor one of the water features.

Janet Elliot of Open Space Solutions who helped Mrs. Beattie and Mrs. Hildenbrand develop their idea with designs said the women took on quite a challenge. She met with Mrs. Hildenbrand at her home three years ago when she was dog sitting. With such a chaotic first encounter, Ms. Elliot wondered if the two knew what they were in for. But over time, Ms. Elliot said she was convinced the campaign volunteers, led by Mrs. Beattie and Mrs. Hildenbrand, could pull off their mission.

“I’ve never met a group who were more motivated and it motivated me,” she said.

She then addressed the children, “I need a commitment that you will take care of this park,” she said, explaining to the children they should tell their parents if they witness anyone using the facility improperly.

Mrs. Beattie and Mrs. Hildenbrand were the last local officials to walk to the podium. Speaking on behalf her co-chairman, Mrs. Beattie credited the entire community for the project’s success so far.

“This community is one of the kindest, warmest ones I’ve ever lived in,” she said. “Who wouldn’t want their kids to grow up here? It’s a wonderful place.”

Mrs. Beattie said the “Our Town” design theme will include every child having an opportunity to add something to the park design which could be a gesture as simple as having their name written by a professional graffiti artist somewhere in the park.

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park kick off and bbqCommunity Kick-Off and FREE BBQ April 19th, 12-1pm!!

The Park Planning Committee is working on something really BIG (SHHHH - that's a whisper yell!) and they can't wait to share it with you at the upcoming kick-off party and FREE BBQ on April 19th between 12 and 1 pm at the Belmont Arena! Be there!!

 

 

 

 

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March 2013

Belmont Kid’s Park in Full Swing

skatepark logoA team of community members has come together to help create two opportunities for our Belmont families to spend more time together, stay active, and celebrate our awesome town.  The initiative, officially known as the Belmont Kid’s Park Campaign – Splash Pad and Skate Park 2013, has been in motion for one year already.  Co-chairs, Sue Beattie and Dione Hildenbrand, have brought together their best team to help with this project, including Janet Elliott of Open Space Solutions, who is our splash pad supplier.

The new park will be located behind the Belmont arena, west of the pavilion, in the Don Yeck Park.  This site met all of the needs of the campaign, including electric and water access, and parking availability.

Of course a campaign like this needs financial support and the campaign is working on the many possible streams that this funding will come from.  The monies will be generated from local government(s), corporations, service clubs, and organizations, down to some creative ways for our local residents to get involved and put their fingerprints on the project. 

We’ve chosen an “Our Town” theme, so many of our water features and other pieces on these two structures will give our groups, organizations and residents a chance to be recognized and in doing so, will be celebrating Belmont: Our Town.

Ground will be broken in 2013, with the project scheduled to be fully enjoyable by the spring of 2014.

So let the anticipation and excitement begin.  Stay tuned for more information and updates on how you can get involved and general information on how the campaign is progressing.  Updates can be found on this HUB website, and in our local papers.

Chris Huctwith
For the Belmont Kid’s Park Campaign – Splash Pad and Skate Park 2013

 

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