New playground equipment has been installed at the Woodlawn Regional Park's Boundary Dam Beach Site, thanks in large part to a pair of significant donations.
The Westmoreland Coal Company donated $15,000, while the Estevan Oilfield Technical Society contributed $10,000. The donations covered about half the $50,000 cost to purchase and install the equipment and a nearby swing set, according to park manager Aaron-Lee Soparlo.
Without the support of the OTS and Westmoreland, Soparlo says the playground equipment wouldn't have been installed so quickly. The park paid for the remaining cost.
The sand for the play structure was also donated, she said.
People have been clamouring for playground equipment at the Boundary Dam campground for some time, she said.
“It's very nice to see it up, and that's why we wanted to do this (the cheque presentations) today, make everybody aware that it's actually here, and that it's real, and it's done,” said Soparlo.
The structure has a pirate theme, and Soparlo said that this is the first structure of its kind in Canada.
“Everything went great,” said Soparlo. “We had planned for a three-day, 12-hour-a-day installation, and we got it up and done in a day-and-a-half.”
They also have the ability to add to the structure at any time.
The equipment was in use for the first time on August 11, and it has received rave reviews from the public, Soparlo said.
OTS president Brett Campbell said the organization decided to contribute to the project because it'll give local youth another activity.
“Everybody makes use of Woodlawn Park's facilities, and the oilmen wanted to do their share to help make a playground in the park,” said Campbell.
The funds for the playground equipment were raised through the OTS's annual events, including their golf tournament and their bonspiel.
Campbell said it was board member Chris Kennedy who first brought the playground equipment project to the OTS board's attention.
Kraig Wanner, who is the general manager for Westmoreland's Estevan mines, said that they wanted to support the project because they want to give back to the community.
“A lot of our workers use the beach or the boating facility, so why not get some equipment, or whatever is needed, for kids who are camping in this area,” said Wanner.
The equipment looks great, he said, and he hopes that young people get a lot of good use from the structure.