Morris residents have cast a vision for recreation for everyone in their community. A committee has formed from the common interest of seeing a central place in the community where people of all ages and abilities can come together and be active and have fun.

Janice Graydon has been working on the committee that is gaining a lot of interest. 

An architectural rendering of the new playground. Supplied.

"The need for safe outdoor recreational opportunities have really been at a premium over that last eighteen months," she said. "We really wanted to create a safe space for family and friends to be able to engage together, no matter what their age or ability level, a place where parents can fully engage with their kids, where grandparents can engage with their grandkids, and amenities for residents of Morris and surrounding communities to improve their physical and mental and social well being, a place that removes physical and financial barriers for all to be able to access."

At this time, the closest accessible playground is a forty-five minute drive for Morris residents. This dream goes beyond accessibility, it also fills a need in the community for the Morris Minor Baseball league to host tournaments in the future. Right now, they are unable to host any of them because they don't meet the criteria of having washrooms and eating areas with a canteen.

Graydon cast the vision for the $650,000 project.

"We'd like to build a picnic structure that includes the facilities of bathrooms as well as the canteen area in order to be able to host events, and then play areas for all ages and abilities. So there's a toddler area, there's a 5 to 12 structure, a music area with swing spinners and seesaws, as well as a 13+ ninja course for teens and adults. I think that is really one of the most unique features about this park that will attract a lot of people from other communities and make it a bit of a destination park."

While the project comes with an ambitious price tag, Graydon noted support is already coming in.

"We're really hoping to break ground in May of 2022, and we've received a lot of support so far. There's a lot of excitement about the project, so we're really hoping to meet that milestone. So far, we've raised about $160,000 which includes a $100,000 commitment from Access Credit Union, once we reached that $250,000 mark either through corporate sponsorship or through grants. That was definitely a huge support and encouraging commitment to the project itself."

There are Corporate Sponsorship Packages available for anyone interest in investing in this project. For those who want to follow along with the project and find more information, they can do so on the Willow Park Project Facebook page.