Petawawa parks to host summer events
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Petawawa's parks and recreation department unveiled “Get to know your Neighbourhood Program,” an initiative that will emphasize outdoor play and provide family activities at several municipal parks from June to August.
PETAWAWA – The town will be launching a new community development concept this summer that will encourage residents to take another look at their neighbourhood parks and programs.
Last week, the parks and recreation department unveiled “Get to know your Neighbourhood Program,” an initiative that will emphasize outdoor play and provide family activities at several municipal parks from June to August. Parks and recreation manager Kelly Williams told council this program will hopefully attract residents to the town's green spaces and recreational facilities.
“We have a wonderful park system in Petawawa and most residents don't have to go very far to get to a neighbourhood park,” said Williams.
The program will meet several objectives of the town's recreation master plan including providing more and better promotion of recreational activities, enhancing leisure activities for youth and seniors and increasing opportunities in outdoor recreation. Programs co-ordinator Colin Coyle explained that by being outside and surrounded by nature, children experience an ever-changing and free-flowing environment that stimulates all the senses. Outdoor play fosters children's intellectual, emotional, social and physical development.
“This is building on a sense of community,” said Coyle. “Even though we are surrounded by a treed environment you would be surprised how much time families spend indoors. Hopefully this initiative will drive everyone outside.”
The program's schedule begins on Thursday, June 14 when the town hosts “Fishing on the Pond” at Centennial Park beginning at 6 p.m. On Saturday, June 23, Pine Ridge Park will host family games and a barbecue starting at noon. Jack Pine Park will be the starting point for a bike tour on Sunday, July 8 beginning at 1 p.m. The Petawawa Legion Community Band will be performing a concert on Wednesday, July 18 with a 7 p.m. start. A splash battle will be held at the Civic Centre splash pad on Sunday, July 22 starting at 1 p.m. Woodland Trail Park will be the scene of a traditional “Capture the Flag” on Thursday, Aug. 16 beginning at 6 p.m.
The final event of the summer is the “Get to the Point” Beach Festival hosted at Petawawa Point on Saturday, Aug. 25 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. The festival will include water-based activities, hand drumming, paint yoga, tai chi and dance, and live entertainment featuring musicians Jesse Daniel Smith, Ty Hall and Amos the Transparent.
“This isn't like your typical Civic Centre Days,” added Coyle. “We are trying to create an event that is more culture based.”
Council was receptive to the plan. Councillor Murray Rutz noted it is something that hasn't been tried before and will enhance the current programming offered by the town. Councillor Theresa Sabourin said it was very much a throwback to when neighbourhoods use to stage their own parties.
“There were all kinds of events in our parks so thank you for bringing us back to our roots,” she said.
“We have a winner here,” added Mayor Bob Sweet. “This could turn into one of the signature events in the town.”
Staff noted that the next steps to developing this program could be to add a spring arts and culture event in Centennial Park or an open air theatrical presentation similar to Shakespeare in the Park. Other initiatives could include an artisan exhibition or a crafters market.