Playgrounds springing up in Petrolia

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There may soon be a lot more places for kids to play in Petrolia.
Town council Monday approved the purchase of a new accessible play area to be placed at the community centre on Tank Street and gave its blessing to a $350,000 campaign for equipment at Greenwood Park.
Parents for Parks is a group of Petrolia parents who wants better playgrounds in the community. The group did an online survey and of the 100 people answering, 96 per cent had left Petrolia to find a park to play in. Almost all of then – 94 per cent – shopped or conducted other business while they were away.
The survey showed only 22 per cent of the people who took the survey were satisfied with the local parks. Ninety-two per cent agreed there is a need for a modern play structure.
“Petrolia has outgrown its existing parks,” said the group in a presentation to council.  It says outdoor spaces that don’t require memberships or don’t depend on schedules improve physical, social and physiological health among users.”
So the group has come up with a plan to place three climbing structures, a walking path with four inter active panels, an accessible spinner, a water-misting pole, and shaded pavilion.
The plan will cost $350,000, which Parents for Parks expects to raise over the next two to three years.
The group already has $52,360 pledged for the project with the lion’s share of $40,000 coming from the Petrolia Lions.  They note that the local business community has shown great enthusiasm for the plan.
Council passed a resolution supporting the project, hoping that such support will “carry some weight” when the group continues to raise funds.
“This is very impressive,” noted Councillor Joel Field following the presentation. “I look forward to a facility like this in Petrolia.”
Council also approved a new accessible play structure to be built at the Petrolia Y.
Open Space Solutions came up with a concept, which includes a ramped structure with two slides and swing sets. The cost will be $70,000. Dave Menzies, director of community services and facilities, says $60,000 will come from a fund set aside for playground equipment at the community centre. An Alix Foundation grant of almost $10,000 will be used to pay for the rest.

– Barry Wright