District of Ucluelet parks and recreation manager Abigail Fortune and Ucluelet’s mayor Mayco Noël cut a celebratory ribbon alongside Sea View Seniors Society board members Diane Harskamp and Cathy Whitcomb to officially open St. Jacques Park on Sept. 18. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

VIDEO: New ‘All Ages Park’ opens up in Ucluelet

“There was some real incredible synergy of working with the community.”

Ucluelet’s St. Jacques Park was officially opened on Sept. 18 at a sun-soaked ribbon cutting ceremony and park bench dedication.

Located on St. Jacques Boulevard across from Forest Glen seniors housing complex, the green space is touted as an ‘All Ages Park’ complete with a labyrinth walking path and a sunny spot for seniors to sit.

The park bench was dedicated in memory of Pam McIntosh.

“I’m so glad the sun is out today,” said Sea View Seniors Housing Society board member Diane Harskamp at the event. “I think she’d smile at being remembered here in this sunny spot near the labyrinth.”

“She was key member of many groups, and out of her participation in one, the community choir, came the words for her memorial plaque, ‘Put a little love in your heart’,” said Harskamp.

David McIntosh said if his wife had known about the dedication, she might even be a little embarrassed.

“That’s just the kind of person she was. She was just an amazing woman and I was lucky enough to be married to her for 50 years,” said McIntosh.

“And, besides the good weather, she could always get me to do whatever she wanted. And so [today] she got somebody else to bring on the good weather.”

All in, including the clearing and the site prep, St. Jacques Parks cost approximately $86,000 to build, according to manager of parks and recreation Abigail Fortune. She said the District of Ucluelet was able to secure $45,500 of funding from the Federal Enabling Accessibility Fund – Community Accessibility Stream. Some structures within the new park were also supported with $20,000 from the Resort Municipality Iniative (RMI) coffers and another $20,000 came from amenities funds, notes Fortune.

“Just a huge thank you to my staff and my team and these two lovely ladies [Diane Harskamp and Cathy Whitcomb] for coming in, and the community itself,” said Fortune at the Sept. 18 ribbon cutting ceremony.

“There was some real incredible synergy of working with the community and seeing what the community wanted. And I’m very pleased with our final product,” she said.

Mayor Mayco Noël said he hopes to see a lot more of these kind of accessible pathways and parks in the community.

“You see what recently got done with Marine Drive. It will be really nice to see more of the community laid out in such a fashion where there are no tripping hazards, it doesn’t matter your level of mobility, whether you’re five-years-old or retired, that you’ll be able to get around town. I’m really happy to see it done,” said Noël.


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