Family of late Frank Ault contributing to overhaul of Matilda Memorial Park

Seen in above photo (left to right) Carter Froats, Grace Smail, Cameron Froats, Tracy Yalden, Mackenzie Westervelt, and Abigail Smail, looking through magazines in search of Matilda Memorial Park's new play structure.

Kelsey Smith
Nation Valley News

BRINSTON — Improvements are in store for Matilda Memorial Park, where a committee is working with the local municipality and EDP Renewables to revamp the once lively community park.

At a public meeting on Saturday, community members were called to the Brinston park to aid the committee with selecting a new play structure and to hear an exciting announcement.

Cindy Peters, former co-chair of the committee and daughter of the late Frank Ault, announced that thanks to a generous contribution from the Ault family, the cost of the play structure and players’ benches, have been completely funded.  

Peters added that her father had been talking about such improvements “for a while.” He was a lifetime community member and hated to see such a once very popular spot go to waste, she said.

A mix of funding for additional improvement has already been established — although the precise breakdown is not yet known, including funds available through the EDP Renewables community fund.

Children and parents who attended the meeting were asked to look through several magazines and pick out a few different structures. The only mandate was that “it must be handicapped accessible,” according to Peters. Cedar will be used for ground cover, as per the current regulation.

The current play structure

Locals can look forward to various new amenities for all different ages:

  • A BMX park, as per request by many local teens
  • A fitness zone for adults
  • A walking path around the perimeter for seniors
  • Several park benches, to be later sold to businesses and individuals
  • A tennis court
  • Two small soccer fields
  • Tetherball stands
  • Volleyball court
  • Toddler toys (bouncy springs)
  • Free standing musical instrument area
  • Gazebo
  • A possible community garden

Updates will also be made to:

  • The pre-existing basketball court; a new pole will be added to other end of the court and the net of the existing pole will be replaced
  • The tree line and sliding hill will be cleaned up
  • A rough estimate of the layout of the park after construction has been completed

Peters reported that the Seaway Surge baseball team, ages 9-12, has asked to use the baseball field twice a week. The team will be adding their own pitcher’s mound to the diamond, and the committee hopes that with the Surge’s commitment, more grants will be attainable.

In a bid to keep the team feeling at home for the long-term, orange and grey will be the new colour scheme for the park — the same as those of the Surge. “We hope to solidify our connection with them,” said Peters of the team.

Current co-chairs of the committee Tracy Yalden and Janice Froats acknowledged EDP Renewals — developers of the South Branch Wind project — for their “continuing generosity” at Matilda Memorial Park, adding they look forward to working with them in the future.

As the rural host site of the 10-turbine project along South Branch Creek, the Brinston and former Matilda Township areas are exclusively eligible for recreational funding made available by the developer.


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