Children at Eagle Lake Beach and West Guilford have new playgrounds to explore thanks to Dysart et al and the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).
The municipality celebrated the completed installation of the new playground equipment Aug. 1. Eagle Lake Beach playground was almost entirely redone with new equipment, while the West Guilford Community Centre got a new disc swing and tetra climber. The OTF largely funded the installations through an $86,500 grant.
Recreation program co-ordinator Andrea Mueller said the playgrounds needed the items, especially at Eagle Lake Beach.
“Pretty much everything needed to be replaced. It was old, it was falling apart, it wasn’t safe,” Mueller said. “We needed to put in a few items here to bring it up to standards.”
Eagle Lake Beach also got new washrooms, including an accessible one. At West Guilford, Mueller said the aim was to make the playground better for all ages.
“It was adding in those extra elements to make it attractive,” Mueller said. “They say 5-12 years old but a 12-year-old doesn’t really want to go down a tiny little slide.”
The municipality finished he Eagle Lake Beach playground at the end of May, while the new West Guilford equipment was completed July 30.
The funding was originally confirmed in early 2018. Mueller said there were delays such as weather and a fire at the factory which produced the equipment.
“We had hoped to have it finished sooner,” she said. “But the parks staff have worked extremely hard and put in a lot of hours, a lot of sweat equity, especially for the last few weeks.”
Eagle Lake resident Allan Bagg helped develop the beach. He attended the opening and complimented the municipality on the work.
“It’s come a long way,” Bagg said. “I have to commend the municipality for this, it’s fantastic.”
Dysart et al parks and recreation worker Ryan Akey said children have already enjoyed the new ways to play at the beach.
“We finished it and came outside and were all just packing up, ready to drive away and the camp kids came outside,” Akey said. “They were all over it instantly.”
Mueller said the municipality wants to continue to improve its playgrounds.
“It’s just trying to make sure we stay up to date and current,” she said.