No longer an empty green space where the old Ponoka general hospital used to be, the official grand opening for Old Hospital Rotary Park was held on Sept. 9.
The park, located at 5609 51 St. next to the Ponoka Civic Centre, features a new green space that includes two sheltered outdoor classroom areas with picnic tables, an amphitheatre, labyrinth, edible gardens, paved walking paths, benches and outdoor lighting.
“This park is a valuable addition to the town’s outdoor recreation facilities, with the COVID-19 pandemic that has shown us how important our outdoor recreation facilities truly are to us,” said Ponoka Mayor Rick Bonnett during the ceremony.
“At the onset of the pandemic, many people were feeling socially isolated, but Ponoka’s outdoor recreation facilities gave citizens a vital opportunity to get outside, and to enjoy some exercise.
The event included a free community barbecue, live music, a ribbon cutting ceremony, and a Coffee with Council session were residents had the opportunity to ask questions about the upcoming 2022 budget and ask questions.
Dan Galway, PJL manager, also spoke at the event.
Melodie Woods, former president of the Rotary Club of Ponoka, cut the ribbon with Mayor Rick Bonnett. The Rotary Club of Ponoka and Landrex Inc. donated funds toward the development of the new park.
The park was developed in consultation with the town’s former Heritage and Downtown Revitalization Committee and the former Recreation, Parks and Culture Advisory Committee.
The amphitheatre can be booked by community groups through the Aquaplex by phoning (403) 783-0131 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.