Lakewood of Strathmore officially hosted the grand opening of Brave Park, a privately funded public playground which is free to use for the community.

The ribbon cutting took place Oct. 21, at the park, which has recently finished installation on site. The ceremony was originally scheduled to take place Oct. 14, but was delayed due to adverse weather conditions.

Scott Silva, director of sales and marketing for the community of Lakewood, said the project began last year, though construction did not begin until 2023, and it is an exciting development to have in Strathmore. 

“It has been a lot of hard work, a lot of passion put into it from the entire development team, as we are very proud of it because it was entirely privately funded through our development group,” he said. 

According to Silva, ideas and concepts began bouncing around for Brave Park shorty before the passing of Sgt. Andrew Harnett, a Calgary police officer who was killed during a routine traffic stop, Dec. 31, 2020.

Though the plan was ongoing prior to the incident which claimed Harnett’s life, Silva said that event served as a sort of inspiration and catalyst to kick the project into gear.

The park features a playground, several areas for various recreational sports, free wifi, and will soon be completely sodded for an open grass area. 

Silva added the park is named for and dedicated to the brave men and women who have given their lives, and work in service for Canada, both locally and abroad. 

“With Brave Park, we are hoping that their sacrifices will be remembered daily, so that the next generation can understand what it means to be brave in the face of adversity. To not sit down or give up when things get tough, but to stand tall with their neighbours and community members,” he said. “The park is commemorated to all of our veterans, active-duty military personnel, police services, RCMP, fire departments, EMS, first and emergency responders, and of course, those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for us.”

Soon to be opened in Brave Park will be a pickleball court, and an outdoor rink will see future development. Additionally, landscaping the area still requires completion for the adjacent roads, sidewalks and pathways. 

Silva said response from the surrounding community has been positive to the park, and many have been anticipating its opening. 

Brave Park is also completely accessible via local pathways connected to Hillview, and pedestrians are able to walk both all the way to and around the park along several kilometers of pavement.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Oct 26, 2023 at 01:14

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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