When Henderson rec centre hosts a nature kindergarten in the pouring rain, a little outdoor cover will come in handy, thanks to the Kiwains Club of Oak Bay.
District staff scored a hit with last year’s “president’s project,” a $10,000 facelift for what was called Little Gyro Park.
“This is actually Mark Payten our past president’s project. Each president puts it back into the community,” said Leslie Johnston, current president of the Kiwanis Club of Oak Bay. “We often go to municipal hall and find out what their wish list is. In this instance we were referred to Chris Hyde-Lay.”
Hyde-Lay, manager of parks for Oak Bay, thought of the play area adjacent to a works area used to maintain the community-owned golf course at Henderson.
“We opened up the whole area, built a shelter with picnic table, refurbished the play equipment. There’s a new spring toy, the rocking horses have been repainted, there’s a brand new sandbox,” Hyde-Lay said.
“It just made the whole area far more accessible so it’s a great place for families to go. They can have birthday parties there, it’s set up for volleyball. … We couldn’t have done it without Kiwanis.”
Kiwanis’ mantra is all about serving the children of the world, Johnston said.
“We’re a service club and that’s what Kiwanis does,” Johnston said.
Her president project money went toward the Books for Breakfast program. Though based in Colwood, it serves the entire region.
“Kiwanis has given money for small items such as bike racks at Monterey school to big ticket items, like $42,000 to Oak Bay High for projects there.”
Oak Bay is officially renaming the playground “Kiwanis
Playground at Henderson Park,” with a grand opening at 10 a.m. on Aug. 5.
“It was so underused,” Hyde-Lay said. “Since we’ve refurbished it, people are coming and having a real gas there.”