City touts partnerships at new playground opening

A group of local youth take advantage of the new Muzzy Drive playground which officially opened this week. -- Bailey Sutherland/Daily Herald

Prince Albert’s newest playground is ready for use on Muzzy Drive, and city officials are hoping the partnership that helped build it won’t be the last of its kind.

Although the playground officially opened on Thursday, city officials and administrators were on hand for a short ceremony Friday afternoon. They touted the $114,000 project as a great example of collaboration between the city and local community clubs like the one in Crescent Acres, which donated $10,000 for playground equipment.

“We have lots of young families in this area, so it only made sense to actually look at a future park development here,” City of Prince Albert parks manager Tim Yeaman said. “We know there is a need within our community for playground space, and this is a perfect example of what those partnerships can do.”

“Green spaces and parks make a community (and) make a neighbourhood, and this is an up-and-coming neighbourhood,” Ward 6 Coun. Dennis Ogrodnick added. “There are more and more houses being built in this area with a lot of young families and they need recreational activities.”

Both Yeaman and Ogrodnick said choosing the location of the new playground was an easy decision. However, finding that next spot might not be.

Ogrdonick said there are plenty of green spaces in Prince Albert, but the city lacks amenities like playground equipment to go with them. Ideally, he’d like to see even more partnerships with local community clubs to get them built. However, he acknowledged there’s no guarantee that will happen.

“I’m hoping so,” he said when asked if there were plans for future partnerships. “I’ve got plans, but it’s whether we can get them accomplished or not with the money we have.”

“It’s with partnerships like this that we have an opportunity to expand what we do and just increase our awareness within the community as well,” Yeaman added. “We know there is a need within our community for playground space, and this is a perfect example of what those partnerships can do.”

The City of Prince Albert will take a sharp look at its playground situation in the near future. They plan to launch a Playground Master Plan survey to gather public feedback once their current survey on Little Red River Park ends.

Ogrodnick said it’s encouraging to see new developments like the Muzzy Drive playground, as well as the Crescent Acres splash park that opened last summer. He just wants to make sure the city doesn’t stop there.

“It’s something that I campaigned on in 2016. I believed in green spaces, parks and recreation and activities for our young people in the community,” he said. “To have something like this happen in Crescent Acres, which needs a couple more of these in the area, is really good.”