By: Sarah Byrne, University of Waterloo Co-op Student and Seniors Physical Activity Promoter at Mills Community Support
There was a full house at the Almonte Old Town Hall last Friday (Feb 3rd) for ‘It’s a Walk in the Park’. The musical event was a fundraiser for the rehabilitation of Augusta Street Park. A host of local talent, twenty one acts in total, ranging from up-and-coming rockers to experienced folk musicians generously donated their time for the cause over the course of the evening. In between each act several Almonte residents shared their personal stories about Augusta Street Park, and others read short “vignettes” which included quotes about parks, and visions of what Augusta Street Park can become. There was no emcee, and the event had a community, kitchen party feel. George Birchall and Jennifer Kingsley
A slide show display provided visuals of plans for the park, which include accessible walking paths, a splash pad, a bmx pump track and accessible “Neighbourhood Tomato” raised community garden boxes. Photos of varying vintages capturing joyful children playing on “the retro rocket”, a fixture in Augusta Street Park, were displayed outside the hall.
The focus of the event was to raise awareness about the ways members of the community can become involved in the rehabilitation of the park. Concert-goers were encouraged to help make the plans a reality by volunteering their “Time, (pitching in enthusiastically), Talent (back-hoe operating, grant writing etc.) or Treasure (the use of material or monetary donations etc.).” “Together we can make the rehabilitation of Augusta Park ‘a walk in the park’.”
Augusta Street Park Rehabilitation organizer Jeff Mills, of Mills Community Support, recognized the hard work which Augusta Street area residents put in many years ago to improve their community and get a park in the first place. “It’s time to continue what they started”, he said.
The rehabilitated park will be “age-friendly and inclusive”, something which it currently is not. Almonte resident Joy Stratford noted that “although adults who use wheelchairs live nearby, they must use a park across town or in Carleton Place because Augusta Street Park is not accessible.”
Many thanks go out to everyone who worked hard to make the “It’s a Walk in the Park” Community Musical Fundraiser such a success! If you are interested in volunteering your “Time, Talent or Treasure” to help rehabilitate Augusta Street Park, please contact; Jeff Mills, Community Development Coordinator at The Mills Community Support at (613) 256-1031 ext. 63 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Calvin Murphy, Recreation Coordinator, Town of Mississippi Mills at (613) 256-1077 ext.24 or email@example.com.