The importance of play
Over the course of almost 6 years on Council I have had the opportunity to provide funding for several play structures in St Vital. In most cases these have been play structures in city parks (St. George, King George, Kingston Crescent, Oakleaf, Mountbatten, Brentford). In other cases I have supported parent groups that had fund raised for school play structures ( eg Windsor, Vic Wyatt) and in the case of the new John Forsythe Park structure on Aldgate, Quallico worked together with the city.
On October 6 a new and innovative play structure opened in Winnipeg's largest mobile home community - Southglen Mobile Home in St Vital. In June 2017 I approved a $30,000 community incentive grant to the Southglen Mobile Home Community Residents Association to build a new play structure in the community's green space. This grant was matched by Ash Management which owns the mobile home park lands, along with a few thousand dollars raised by the Residents' social committee.
Southglen has about 360 mobile homes, more than the two other mobile home communities in Winnipeg combined. Many people assume mobile home parks are sketchy places, but I have found the residents to have a strong sense of community, and there is real pride in the local pool and meeting hall.
Some might ask "why are you funding a play structure on private land"? The answer is that the structure will be accessible to the general public, and there is a history of assisting this particular green space - in July, 2011 my predecessor Gord Steeves identified the Southglen Mobile Home "park" for potential funding. (Steeves also deserves much of the credit for work done on Mountbatten Park).
I am proud to have worked with the many volunteers from the Mobile Home Community, especially Laura Battaglia and Allyson Greenhalgh, and trust that the play structure will be very well used.