This summer, The Salvation Army’s Park Street Citadel in Grand Falls-Windsor, N.L., transformed their one-hectare grassy property into a thriving public park. Once an unused car dump, the land has been revitalized to cater to the needs of people in the community, including seniors, families and nearby schools.
Park Street Citadel received an innovation grant for the project, which they called “Green Space Gospel,” allowing them to build a covered platform equipped with electricity, pot lights and electrical outlets for outdoor concerts and other events. Upgrades have been made to the park’s trail, making it accessible to people with wheelchairs, walkers and families with strollers. The trail, with three loops that measure one kilometre, is lined with benches and growing trees, providing resting spots for visitors along the way.
“There are many seniors in this area but no park or trail within walking distance,” says Major Peter Rowe, corps officer. “This park will provide a safe place for walking and other recreation, and it is an opportunity for healthy outdoor activity.”
The project also implemented 14 community gardens within the park to help provide fresh produce for residents, alleviating the rising cost of groceries and offering a new place for social connection. Park Street Citadel has also welcomed motorhome visitors looking for a safe place to park for a few nights. “One couple from British Columbia who spent a few nights here actually came to church one Sunday. They later left a generous donation,” says Major Rowe. “We’re now exploring the possibility of obtaining a permit to create a designated safe zone here for travellers to stay for a night on our parking lot.”
Major Rowe expressed gratitude for the generous support of the community, including donated benches and discounted construction services, allowing for additional investments in essential equipment and supplies such as gardening tools.
The park is open to the community, other churches and organizations who wish to utilize the space. It has become a hub for various events, including partnerships with a nearby daycare and local schools that use the park for outings.
Photo: Major Peter Rowe
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