A Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation Enables the Development of an Accessible Park in Hearst November 20, 2020
Hearst, Ontario – The Corporation of the Town of Hearst is proud to announce the development of an accessible and inclusive park located in Kinzey Park in Hearst. Thanks to a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), accessible play structures and a resting area were installed. The construction work was undertaken these past weeks, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the official opening will take place in spring next year, when permitted.
“I am pleased to hear that children, most especially children living with a physical disability, will have the opportunity to enjoy a new inclusive park in the Town of Hearst. Equity and equality of inclusion are core rights of every person in Canada. I thank the Municipal Council for their decision and the development of this much-needed inclusive playground for the well-being of the children of Hearst.” emphasized Guy Bourgouin, MPP of the Mushkegowuk—James Bay region.
The main objective was to provide the people of our community with an accessible and inclusive park, to which everyone has access. Prior to this development, no municipal playground was wheelchair accessible, and the Municipal Council deem it important that every person be given the same opportunities to move and be active.
« We must keep in mind that this project was made possible because of a grant from the OTF, which brought us closer to the objectives of our multi-year accessibility plan. Thanks to the recommendations from the Accessibility Committee, the Town of Hearst was able to make services and infrastructures more inclusive and accessible”, said Mayor Roger Sigouin.
This project therefore aimed at improving a community space by developing a 530 square foot playground including various accessible play structures, swings, a gazebo and a portable toilet, so that all generations can enjoy the same green space. « Here we are, a beautiful dream has come to reality! The Hearst community now has its own accessible and inclusive park, where everyone can participate in activities adapted to their interests and abilities.” Anne-Marie Portelance, Chair of the Hearst Accessibility Committee.
An inclusive community is a welcoming community where everyone, without distinction, is encouraged to participate fully. Accessible play areas play a big role in social inclusion. In fact, an environment where all children can take part in activities, with or without special needs and differences, greatly fosters social inclusion.
The health and well-being of residents are a great concern to the Corporation of the Town of Hearst. In its multi-year accessibility plan, the Town of Hearst is committed to providing quality services to all members of the community, notably those with disabilities or reduced mobility. Through this project, led by the Hearst Accessibility Committee, the Corporation of the Town of Hearst wishes to improve infrastructure for people with disabilities, thereby encouraging physical activity and promoting inclusiveness.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $115 million to 644 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.
Roger Sigouin, Mayor