The ‘miracle’ is close to reality

A ceremonial ribbon is cut with students from St. Rose Catholic School at Farrow Riverside Miracle Park in Windsor, May 24, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

An innovative park that is inclusive for all people, regardless of their abilities is just about ready to be opened.

A sneak preview took place Friday morning at Farrow Riverside Miracle Park as guests, elected officials, and students from neighbouring St. Rose Catholic School were invited to try out the equipment on the 13,000 square-foot fully-accessible playground. Also, the Ontario Trillium Foundation unveiled a plaque, signifying its contribution to the Miracle Park and its $150,000 grant.

As he watched the smiling kids running around on the rubber ground and trying out the structures, Bill Kell of the park’s steering committee said they’re ready to press on with the rest of the work.

“It’s part of the dream that we had always thought about,” said Kell. “It’s one portion. The first one we wanted to open was the playground for the kids. The sports field and the picnic pavilion will be next, then the cenotaph, and then we’ll finish it right off with the fitness track.”

Kell pointed out that the playground was only open for the length of the preview. It closed again by Friday afternoon for additional work that he said will take about three weeks to complete.

Ward 6 Councillor Jo-Anne Gignac has a long personal connection to the area, having grown up in Riverside. She said Riverside residents were always community-minded, and the Miracle Park is no exception.

“To see this, with all of the components that Bill had mentioned, along with the accessible pool that’s right here, I think it’s going to be a coordinated facility that you won’t see matched across Canada,” she said.

Fundraising for the project began in the fall of 2017¬†on the site of the former Riverside Arena. The City of Windsor had leased the land at Wyandotte Street East near St. Rose Avenue to the Riverside Minor Baseball Association for the creation of a “miracle field” attached to the park.

The playground will be ready for free public use by mid-June.