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Fort Macleod celebrates opening of spray park

Matthew McNab, accompanied by grandparents Bernadette and Dave McNab, pressed the button to start the water at the spray park.d

Matthew McNab, accompanied by grandparents Bernadette and Dave McNab, pressed the button to start the water at the spray park.d

Cutting the ribbon to open the spray park, from left: Sharon Monical, Keith Trowbridge, Dan Smith, Henk Vanee, Dan Smith, Angie O'Connor, Jill Burrows and Leslie-Ann Hornberger.

Cutting the ribbon to open the spray park, from left: Sharon Monical, Keith Trowbridge, Dan Smith, Henk Vanee, Dan Smith, Angie O’Connor, Jill Burrows and Leslie-Ann Hornberger.

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Matthew McNab, with the push of a button, brought great joy Thursday to children and adults in Fort Macleod.
Young Matthew was chosen to push the button for the grand opening of Fort Macleod’s new spray park.
Screams of delight greeted the fountains of water that shot out of the concrete pad into the air, soaking the children who had gathered in anticipation.
“We are so excited,” Fort Macleod Playground Committee chair Jill Burrows said. “We’ve waited a lot of years to actually get to this point.”
The committee led the refurbishment of Lioness Park first before turning its attention to Centennial Park.
“It’s kind of been our big project,” Burrows said of new playground equipment, washrooms, landscaping and the spray park.
Burrows recalled with a laugh that the committee was challenged why Fort Macleod needed a park as big as Centennial Park.
“I said because we’re going big,” Burrows said. “That was our line. We wanted a really nice park, and I think we’ve done it.”
Committee members are Angie O’Connor, Henk Vanee, Leslie-Ann Hornberger, Robert Rippen, Sharon Monical, Dan Neels and Dan Smith.
“One of the big things we wanted to say was a huge thank you to all of our community sponsors,” Burrows said. “I don‘t think that there is a person or a business that did not donate something.”
Burrows said residents and business owners have been strong supporters of every fund-raiser the committee staged to raise the money to refurbish Centennial Park, and to assist with installation of the equipment and sod.
“We hope that everyone enjoys the spray park as much as we have building it,” Burrows said.
Town of Fort Macleod councillor Keith Trowbridge praised the committee and its supporters.
“We want to express the deepest appreciation and thank you to the committee and volunteers,” Trowbridge said. “No matter how big or small your donation or your time, it was all important and it all mattered very much.”
Trowbridge said the Centennial Park project, and the turn-out of hundreds for the grand opening of the spray park was indicative of the spirit of Fort Macleod.
“The positive attitude that’s here right now, this is what happens when a town pulls together,” Trowbridge said.
Burrows noted there is some work to be done to complete Centennial Park.
Ten metal picnic tables and benches are still needed to go on pads that are in place. The benches cost $2,500 apiece and sponsors are needed.
A picnic shelter is to be placed on a concrete pad. Structural Truss is donating a roof structure and Westco Construction will donate its services to install the roof.
Centennial Park was to be the committee’s final project, but Burrows was hedging her bets on Wednesday.
“We thought we were going to be done, but maybe we might take on one more,” Burrows said. “We might take on doing the River Valley Wilderness Park . . . it’s one that’s still in need.”
Burrows praised the work of the volunteers.
“This has been a great committee,” Burrows said.
People attending the grand opening were treated to 400 cupcakes donated by W.A. Day school, lemonade donated by the Elks Club and cotton candy and popcorn courtesy of Young Parkyn McNab.

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