New accessible park at Sherbrooke Village

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There is a new wheelchair accessible park in Sherbrooke Village.

It began as an opportunity to beautify the entrance to the historic Village as well as develop a comfort zone for those with disabilities. It just happened to fit into the new Municipal Streetscape plan for Sherbrooke.

Recently a group of local supporters, all members of the same family and each instrumental in many of the volunteer activities throughout Sherbrooke and surrounding area, built and erected a huge wooden heart and chalkboard.

A press release quotes Sherbrooke Village’s executive director, Stephen Flemming as saying, “Many, many thanks to Dana O’Connell and the crew for building this wonderful tribute to those protecting us from Covid-19. It is a perfect contribution to the community park concept and has not gone un-noticed in the community.” 

The Historic Sherbrooke Village Development Society (HSVDS) had taken on the park project from the beginning with the full support of Sherbrooke Village Museum, to design and build an accessible Community Park within the Sherbrooke Village museum boundaries. The park was to be adjacent to the Indigenous Art Centre and include an Indigenous garden area.

Most of the design work was the vision of Dana O’Connell and assistant, Kathleen Pascoe. Phase one saw the excavation of the park area and planning of layout in 2019 with support from St. Mary’s Municipality.

Nova Scotia’s “Community ACCESS-Ability Program” supported the project through phase two, laying pathways, installing power and water. Funding from a Stimulus package awarded to Sherbrooke Village museum by the Government of Nova Scotia and MLA Lloyd Hines allowed for the completion of phase three, consisting of the completion of pathways, reading areas, lighting, benches and picnic tables. A gazebo for teaching and music events will be installed this week. Flower beds will be planted in the spring.

This upgrade makes for a more appealing entrance to the Indigenous Art Centre, and community museum. “I expected completion of the park project would take upwards of five years, but here we are ready to see the final touches added by summer 2021. I am so grateful for all of the support we have received,” says HSVDS board member and park project lead Dana O’Connell.