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Special designer helps with Hammond Park refurbishment

Mayor Lyn Hall and Brinley Gurney try out some of the new playground equipment at Hammond Park. Bill Phillips photo

If you have an issue you want addressed, you should take your concerns to City Hall. Or better yet, straight to the mayor’s office.

That’s exactly what Brinley Gurney did when she heard the city was going to fix up Hammond Park. She had some strong ideas as to what Hammond Park should look like when it was finished and she took those concerns right to the top. Mayor Lyn Hall promptly contacted Parks Supervisor Chris Bjorn who enlisted Brinley’s help to design what features the new park should have.

And Brinley knows what goes into a good playground, since she’s just seven years old and loves playing in Hammond Park.

“Me and my brother came here and he told me that the slide was gone,” said Brinley of how she decided to take her concerns to City Hall. “So I went to City Hall.”

And she’s happy with the refurbished park.

“Now there’s more people in the park rather than being inside playing on their electronics, kind of like me,” she said with a chuckle.

Hall was very happy with the entire process.

“About a year ago, Brinley came up to me to talk about what this park could look like, and she had some great suggestions,” said Hall. “She had some ideas from other parks she’d been to that she thought should be put in her and, guess what, many of the things she recommended, we’re seeing here today.”

Except for a big slide.

“It was a lot of fun to have Brinley around,” said Bjorn. “Brinley went around to a few of our new city playgrounds and selected features that she liked the best. The new Hammond Park playground truly is a reflection of what she wanted to see and I’m sure the neighbourhood children will agree that she made some excellent choices.”

The 2017 City Park Strategy included a priority to pursue a playground replacement program that included removing twenty old playgrounds and making annual investments to insure that the remaining playgrounds are safe and maintained to a high-quality. Since 2017, a dozen playgrounds in City parks have been replaced. Another dozen are planned to be replaced in the years ahead. The annual budget for the program is $250,000 pending annual approval by Council.

“When we think of infrastructure, we often think of roads, facilities, or pipes but infrastructure associated with our parks and playgrounds is also critically important to residents and enhancing our quality of life,” says Mayor Lyn Hall. “On behalf of Council, thank you to the Parks staff for making these great enhancements to neighbourhood parks and thank you to the children, like Brinley, who take an interest in our work. We hope you like the results!”

More information about City playgrounds and the replacement program is available on the City website:

Mayor Lyn Hall with Sydney, Brinley, Amanda, and Kaden Gurney and City Parks Supervisor Chris Bjorn. Bill Phillips photo

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