Lions club purchases naming rights for new park
Members of the Camrose Swan and Roses Lions Club present Mayor Norm Mayer its a cheque for $25,000 for the naming rights to the new pocket park at City of Camrose council meeting on March 6. Josh Aldrich/ Camrose Canadian
The Swans and Roses Lions Club has come forward and paid for the naming rights for the city’s new downtown pocket park.
The club made a $25,000 cheque presentation at the March 13 City of Camrose council meeting, but according to project manager Colin MacPhee, a City of Camrose senior development officer, the club has looked at this as more than just an opportunity to put their name on a project.
The club will also be making donations of work in kind and are working on material donations as well. On top of that they have also applied for grants on behalf of the City that would go towards the new Lions Centennial Park at 4952-50th Street.
“I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be working with the Lions Club,” said MacPhee. “To have a collaborator like the Lions club on side … is a great thing.”
The club was looking for a way to give back to the community. Most of the funds come from a firewood business they had operated but sold two-and-a-half years ago.
“We were looking for as much exposure as we could get,” said club president Larry Sharuga. “We’re definitely community orientated and we felt it was a good thing for the city of Camrose and the residents. We want to support Camrose as best we can.”
Originally the club was wanting to sponsor a ball diamond type facility but then this opportunity came to them.
The park is now almost 50 per cent funded with the cheque from the Lions club, but that does not count in coming donations of labour and materials which will also go towards bringing down the $200,000 price tag on the project.
The park fills a void in the city. The lot it will be built on what was previously a retail store, but a fire a few years ago left the space difficult to build on due to its narrow size.
The City is also filling a need with the park as there is almost no real green space in downtown Camrose. This will give people who work downtown a nice quiet place to eat lunch or relax, in addition it provides a trail through the middle of the block to the downtown core, improving overall access for those on foot or on bike. This type of park is popular in many centres across Canada but this is a first for Camrose.
MacPhee says this is not the biggest project on the books for the City, but there it is important to get it right.
“God is in the details,” he said. “We want this to be an attractive space so that people will feel comfortable being in there and get away from the streetscape a little bit.”
The park was designed by Camrose residents Judy McLean, Patricia Shielding and Kyla Jonson, who won a design contest.
If weather cooperates, MacPhee says they hope to have the park open in June.
The Lions Club has a number of initiatives going on around town including running a barbeque outside the Lindstrand Auction house four times a year, selling Christmas trees and Christmas nut trays, hosting an annual magic show in the fall, and Project Pride that puts a Canadian flag in the hand of every Grade 1 student at the end of every school year, among other projects.
“We’re an active club and we’re always looking for new members,” said MacPhee. “We call ourselves a fun club and we’re always looking to do things on the lighter side.”
The club meets the first and third Wednesdays of every month at 7 p.m. at Centra Cam at 5502-46 Street.