The ambitious community-led project to redesign McKay Street Park has been named a top ten finalist for a $100,000 makeover from BCAA.
Voting takes place from May 22 until June 18 and the top three will receive the coveted grant — a much needed boost for the Transition Prince Rupert project that could cost up to $3-million.
“This funding would really help us get the first phase of the park underway,” said Veronika Stewart, vice-president of Transition Prince Rupert.
Hundreds of applicants applied for a chance to win the BCAA Play Here contest. In the application, the derelict park was described as an area considered dangerous by many residents, and revitalizing the space would mean better lighting with clear pathways to increase safety for children and families.
The North Coast park concept made the final run with its professional design to turn an abandoned baseball park and overgrown field into a covered basketball pavilion, skate park, carving shed, dog park and community gardens.
“The quality of McKay Street Park’s nomination showed a clear need for a better play space,” says Shawn Pettipas, BCAA senior manager of community impact in the press release. “The well-thought-out nomination detailed the positive impact a revitalized space would have on the kids and the rest of the community.”
Transition Prince Rupert and community members have been working on the design elements and fundraising efforts to improve the space across from the M’akola housing complex. The improvements to the area could affect approximately 400 residents, including many young families.
Three winners will each be offered $100,000 from BCAA — which will be based on votes.
“We’re really focusing on getting people to vote online. We’d like to remind people they can vote once a day, four times each day,” Stewart said, adding that people can vote from Google, Twitter, Facebook and their email.
Prince Rupert’s is up against community projects in the Okanagan, Vancouver Island and Metro Vancouver putting the North Coast community at a disadvantage, and all the more reason the approximately 14,000 Prince Rupert residents should vote for the McKay Street Park.
Voting closes on June 18, and the winner will be announced June 23.