WAVERLEY: It may have taken eight years, but the development of the Village Green in Waverley is now officially complete.
Recently, the last part of the redevelopment of the Village Green was installed—some play equipment, an xylophone and three hand drums at the far end of the Green closest to Doug Clarke Autobody.
The re-development of the Village Green was initiated back in 2010-2011 when then councillor Barry Dalrymple informed Waverley Community Association (WCA) Chair Margaret Brigley that $67,000 in previously collected area rate funds were to be returned to the community.
“The WCA recognized that these funds should be distributed so that they benefited the greatest number of residents so they developed a process for gathering ideas from the community and evaluating them in a fair and transparent way,” said Kevin O’Halloran, with the WCA.
A deadline of Aug 26, 2011 was set for community input and the community really stepped up with 27 submissions filed. Of these 27, 10 were for the development of the village green.
“The executive made a decision to award $50,000 towards the village green with remaining funds applied to the Village Hall and McDonald Sports Park,” he said.
As the funds were released in 2012 a group was set up within the WCA to manage what became known as the Waverley Village Green Development Project. This group was led by O’Halloran as community project manager and liaison with HRM Parks.
The first order of business was to develop a budget and maximize funding by applying for grants.
“With $50,000 in the bank the WCA was able to grow the budget to over $200,000 in just over a year and develop a plan that included a stage, pathways, lighting, banners, electrical upgrades, and a play structure,” said O’Halloran.
It also included an upgraded waterfront and the addition of a dock, and a storage building.
O’Halloran said the additional funds came from many sources including provincial health and wellness grant programs and federal heritage and culture programs, along with many private industry grants designed to enhance communities.
“A good example is the evergreen tree and garden upgrades that were provided by TD Bank and installed by the local chapter of Girl Guides with the assistance of HRM,” he said. “Kids from Waverley Memorial participated in a second round of tree planting.”
He said progress was slower than expected. Originally expected to be a two-year project the electrical and stage components took a lot of time and were not complete until 2016.
“Unfortunately, due to delays and deficiencies a few items from the original plan had to be adjusted,” he said. “By the end of the project the play component had to be reconsidered.”
The WCA continued to work with HRM and the province with the intention of completing the final components of the project. In 2016-17 MLA Bill Horne’s office brought forward an accessibility grant program that the WCA applied for successfully.
“This covered a significant portion of the cost of the outstanding accessible play items so the WCA moved forward with completing the final component of the Village Green project,” said O’Halloran. “With the help of HRM Parks and councillor Steve Streatch, the WCA was able to assist with the remaining balance of the play equipment and installation costs.”
He said due to budget limitations it’s taken a few years to get this final component in place.
“We’re very pleased to see the project finally at completion,” he added.
The WCA will be holding an AGM this fall and is actively looking for additional members. There is currently an opening on the executive for the position of Secretary. Contact the WCA via email@example.com or via the Waverley, NS Facebook page.