“It is with a lot of pride that we present this to you today,” said the mayor of Dundee, Linda Gagnon, in an address to around 100 citizens at the official inauguration of the municipality’s new park on September 3. The facility includes play structures and a multi-sport surface, and its opening coincided with the first citizen’s day to take place in Dundee since the start of the pandemic. Residents were treated to a free corn roast and hot dog lunch in the new park.
A former municipal councillor, Yves Lalonde, spearheaded the park project which took nearly three years to complete. “The hope is that the park will help to rejuvenate the community and create a sense of belonging,” he says of the project, which cost around $250,000. The municipality was able to benefit from funding through the Canada Community Building Fund (formerly known as the Gas Tax Fund), which reduced the actual cost to the municipality to ten per cent of the total, or $25,000.
Lalonde, who happens to be married to Gagnon, says a lot has changed in Dundee since they moved to the area 40 years ago. “We have experienced the decline,” he says, noting the community was once full of life. Happily, he adds that he feels a sense of vitality is starting to build once more.
In her address to residents, Mayor Gagnon cited the park as an example of what can happen when citizens choose to become involved in their municipality. Lalonde confirms a lot of volunteer time was invested by residents in the park. “We thought of everyone,” he says, noting the project was guided by resident engineer Emmanuelle Nieuwenhof from the beginning to ensure they covered all the bases, from cyclists to seniors.