CIF Supports Summer Sun Fun at Caronport

With many young children and few places for summertime play, community leaders in Caronport accepted the challenge and planned for their town's water park play site. Within the year they had their prize:  a great spray and play park used by more than 40 children daily during spring and summer months.

Caronport's spray park was completed and opened in June 2012 and has since provided countless hours of water fun for the young and the young-at-heart. And while attracting toddlers to teens, the spray park soon evolved as much more than a community play area!

"We saw this (spray park) as a play centre for children and clearly, that's how it is." says Dave Carter, Recreation Board President in Caronport.  "What we didn't consider was how this park would also serve as a meeting place for the parents and other families!"

"It's a great place for kids of all ages, but the bonus is--and it's a huge one--the spray park is now the spot in our community where families come together. Our families meet here, get to know each other. They share part of their lives and new friendships are formed. It's transforming our community because we've never had anything like this before!" says Carter.

Carter explains that many young families come to Caronport to study theology or for business and leadership training as well as to work in the area. He's amazed and very pleased with how the community spray park is helping address the needs of newcomers and long-standing residents, from toddlers and young families to adults and grandparents through this common meeting place.

Caronport's fundraising and planning team had some fun, as well.

"I can barely describe the impact on our (fundraising) committee when the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) informed us of our $50,000 grant. We were overjoyed!" says Brandy Magnus, Caronport's spray park committee chair. "We had researched and planned every detail. But until we learned about getting that grant, all this (spray park) was kind of a dream. After that grant, though, it was almost easy to garner matching community support! We never would have accomplished this without the CIF!"

Magnus describes their planning activities. They formed a committee of three and received village approval to develop the area. Wal-Berg Enterprises bought the right to name the park, now called "Wal-Berg Enterprises Spray Park." Local businesses from Caronport and Moose Jaw contributed an additional $30,000. When any employee of Briercrest College donated $125, the College matched the donation. Then local community contributions were sought. Many families and small businesses bought a $250 brick, each to be inscribed and placed at the park entrance. And through all this, community volunteers worked tirelessly for more funds. And effectively! When they exceeded their target--by almost $10,000--a small playground structure was added to the park.

Caronport is proving that success is contagious. Community plans are now underway to develop the Caronport Walking Trail with a recently approved $5,000 grant from the Community Initiatives Fund.

Caronport is 95 km (60 mi) by vehicle west of Regina on the north side of the TransCanada Highway.


ABOVE:  A large metal mushroom, ladybird beetle, cattail and flowers adorn the spray park at Caronport, Saskatchewan.  Photo credit:  Community Initiatives Fund (Calvin Fehr Photography).

RIGHT:  Caronport's mayor, Bob Clark, walks part of the planned Caronport Community Trail with his two black labs.  Photo credit:  Community Initiatives Fund (Calvin Fehr Photography).

Posted in CIF News