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The splash pad in at Etli Milita’mk Universally-Designed Play Park in Liverpool, Queens County, NS. Photo: Region of Queens.

Etli Milita’mk Play Park’s spray pad set to open in Liverpool

By Evan Taylor Jul 11, 2023 | 5:41 AM

Liverpool, NS – The Etli Milita’mk Universally-Designed Play Park in Liverpool, Queens County,  is gearing up for a summer of fun with the opening of its Spray Pad on Tuesday at 9 a.m. This exciting addition to the park, designed for individuals of all abilities, promises to provide a refreshing escape from the summer heat.

Featuring sprinklers, fountains, filler buckets, and jet spray units, the Spray Pad offers a thrilling way for residents and visitors alike to interact with water, stay cool, and have a blast. The opening of the Spray Pad marks the first phase of the park’s unveiling, with the playground equipment expected to open in September, although an exact date has yet to be announced.

The Etli Milita’mk Spray Pad is a result of dedicated efforts and community collaboration. Darlene Norman, the Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality, expressed her delight, stating, “It’s an exciting time in Queens County! Council is pleased that the Etli Milita’mk Spray Pad is opening, and in just a few months, the universally-designed playground equipment will be open as well.”

The Spray Pad is open to all ages and abilities and will operate daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. until September. In late August, the Pad will temporarily close to allow for the installation of rubber surfacing for the playground equipment. To ensure the safety of children, it is recommended that those under 12 years of age be accompanied by an adult. The Spray Pad is enclosed by a six-foot-tall fence, providing peace of mind for caregivers who may have individuals in their care who tend to wander. Additionally, there are benches and shaded areas for user comfort.

The Etli Milita’mk Play Park is a testament to the power of community collaboration and inclusivity. The park’s name, chosen after consultation with Acadia First Nation representatives, translates to “We are playing here” in Mi’kmaq. The initiative began in 2015 when Debbie Wamboldt, a local resident, approached candidates during the Municipal election, inquiring about their plans for supporting inclusion in the community.

Wamboldt envisioned a play park that would offer a safe environment for all community members, away from water and busy roads. Following the election, she partnered with a group of dedicated volunteers and began fundraising efforts to turn her dream into reality. Working in partnership with Autism Nova Scotia, Wamboldt and the planning/steering committee successfully secured funding from the Council to supplement community fundraising.

The fundraising efforts surpassed their goal of $450,000 by November 2021, with the funds being held in trust by Autism Nova Scotia. The project faced challenges along the way, including delays caused by the pandemic, such as supply chain issues and staffing shortages during the manufacturing and installation stages. However, the dedicated team remained committed to delivering a high-quality, universally-designed play park.

The completion of the final stage of the play park is expected in September, with an opening ceremony to follow soon after. Although there have been delays, Debbie Wamboldt, the spearhead of the project and a member of the Queens Universally-Designed Play Park Fundraising Committee, expressed her anticipation, saying, “While I am disappointed that we are hit with another delay, I feel a bit of consolation that the Spray Pad will be open for all to enjoy. We are all anxiously awaiting the completion of the park, and I know it will be well worth the wait.”

The Etli Milita’mk Spray Pad can be found on Old Cobb Barn Road in Brooklyn, on the grounds of Queens Place Emera Centre. The site also features other recreational spaces, including Mersey Skatepark, outdoor basketball nets, a Queens Coast Playbox, Queens Place Outdoor Trail, and a sledding hill for winter activities.



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