Lions Club enhancing Devlin Ball Park

Summer reporter
Marc Stuempfle

The Emo and District Lions Club are working on revitalizing the Devlin Ball Park by adding an accessible playground.

The Lions Club announced Monday to the Times they had received a grant from Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) in support of their playground initiative.

The project is a partnership with La Vallee Township which contributed $15,000 in support of the playground.

Lions Club organizers said the contribution from La Valle Township is the main reason the funds were able to be raised so quick and helped jump-start the initial phase of the program.

The Lions Club also held fundraisers throughout the year such as “Hunter Nights,” and along with local community sponsors such as Maddy’s Convenience and other businesses, helped raise $50,000.

The Emo and District Lions Club were able to secure a grant from the LCIF which matched the club’s initial contribution, bringing the total amount available for the construction of the accessible playground to $100,000.

Phase 1 of the project is scheduled to start on Aug. 21 at 8 a.m. when approximately $55,000 worth of equipment will be brought in and installed.

For the project to receive grant funding, the club had to meet certain criteria.

One was to make it an inclusive playground to help develop sensory, motor, cognitive and social/emotional skills for children–which means upon its completion the playground will be accessible for everyone.

Part of the organization’s directive was also to “get kids moving.”

During Phase 1, the park will include a “we-saw” (a multi-seat seesaw), “oodle swing” (a multiple-user swing), a large structure (a playset design centre), and an inclusive playground spinner similar to a merry-go-round.

Lions club organizers explained Phase 1 will not include mats for wheelchair access but will be included in later phases.

It’s expected the playground upgrades will be complete within two years.

Playgrounds-R-Us out of Winnipeg is in charge of the manufacturing and installation for the playground.

Help from local companies such as Witherspoon Sand, Gravel & Concrete and Tompkins Home Hardware Building Centre along with workers from La Vallee Township and local workers from Minnesota are also helping with the construction.

The Emo and District Lions Club values the influential role playgrounds have in developing all kids’ abilities.

All kids benefit from exploring an inclusive playground and provide a variety of developmental options for kids to choose from.

The Lions Club is looking for volunteers to help with the installation on Aug. 21 and will be providing lunch for those offering their assistance.