JOHNSTON AVENUE PARK CLOSER TO REALITY AFTER ROTARY DONATION
BY LAUREN BIRD15 JUNE 2012
It’s been three years in the works, but the Johnston Avenue park on the north side is in the final push for completion as donations continue to flow in.
The park was the recent recipient of $10,000 from the Fredericton North Rotary Club.
“Every donation we get towards this last push for the ice plant is critical. So the $10,000 is a great donation to making that ice plant a reality,” said Trina MacDonald, general manager of Business Fredericton North.
About $250,000 is still needed to finish the park and buy the ice machine that will allow the public to skate outside from November to April, regardless of the weather.
“When the Nasis arena was taken down, that was a community focal point on the north side, and within Nasis in particular,” MacDonald said. “Hundreds of local children skated on that surface; hundreds of seniors went to that site for community events. When it got torn down, that stopped.
“The implementation of this project revitalizes that site once again and brings life back to it. The park itself, the way it’s designed, it’s designed to have something for everyone.”
The facilities in the park for the summer will include a basketball court and skateboard park, as well as a trail encircling the area with exercise equipment along it.
“This winter we had natural ice on that surface because the slab is there and the City of Fredericton did flood it for us. We had well over 100 people every weekend,” MacDonald said.
The goal is to have the park finished by November so they can use the ice machine over the winter.
“The big push right now is to obtain the remaining $250,000 to get the ice plant and finish the service building,” MacDonald said.
Bill Johnson, the president of the Fredericton North Rotary Club, said the park was a worthwhile place to donate much of the money raised by a winter pond hockey tournament.
“We’re looking for projects that are sustainable ... When we heard about the Nashwaaksis recreation centre being devised over there on Johnson Avenue we thought, ‘Well, that’s just a perfect fit for what we want to support in our community,’ ” he said.
The donation made by the Rotary Club will go specifically to the ice plant, said president-elect, Ron Forsythe.