Every neighborhood is built around people that see a problem or gap and wonder “how can I fix this/make it better?” This was the case in the Clair Lake Beechwood neighborhood. In the spring of 2012 Jennifer moved to the neighborhood with her husband and two young children. They were walking along the street, exploring the area – the greenspace, the Clair Lake duck pond, the winding pathways and community pools and tennis courts. She stopped and asked a neighbor “Where is the playground around here?” The neighbor said she though the closest one was at Keatsway Public School, about a 15 minute walk from where she was, more like 30 minutes with the age of the kids. She went home, looked online and saw that indeed, the closest playgrounds were all quite far for kids in the neighborhood.
During her neighborhood opening BBQ she asked if others were interested in building a playground. She was unprepared for the response, and ended up collecting names and email addresses on a paper plate! With about 50 people willing to be involved she set up a meeting with key people from other neighborhood associations, City Councilor Jeff Henry and City of Waterloo staff.
It took a few times (and a few years) to get the right mix of people but once the current group formed they were unstoppable! With only a few months of fundraising they reached their goal of $50,000 and continued working with City of Waterloo staff to design their playground.
If you are in Beechwood, be sure to check out the newest playground on the path between Amos and Candlewood, built with community support, spirit and determination!