Long before the ribbon was cut, the kids christened the new Head Lake Park playground Sept. 23.

As Jereck Stephens took a turn on the zipline, his mom, Valerie, said the new park was “great. I’m excited.”

She said the town was in need of a good children’s playground as the old one was “lackluster. This one’s a lot better.”

The old park was deemed structurally unsound and taken down in June 2022.

The former Dysart et al council saw the need for a new playground, said manager of parks and events, Andrea Mueller, and committed $300,000. The new council continued the project, with the help of a Head Lake Park committee and its robust fundraising, an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, financial help from Rotary, and in-kind support from Total Site Services.

Coun. Pat Casey said after COVID, it took a bit of time to get the momentum going, but the committee got things rolling again. “Everybody dug in and progressively we made it work.” He said it was a great reflection of the spirit of Haliburton, thinking of an idea and getting it to where it is today.

MPP Laurie Scott commented, “this is a hub of activity. It’s beautiful… Haliburton is a wonderful community and we see the fruits of that today.”

Mueller added, “there were lots of kids who emptied the change out of their pockets, or who had lemonade stands, or who took money out of their piggy banks. We appreciate every single penny that was given towards this project.”

The 9,000 sq. ft. accessible park was a Park N Play Design project, valued at approximately $600,000. The committee raised $150,000; the OTF grant was $150,000, Dysart gave $300,000 and Rotary $50,000.