EAST CLAYTON — The official opening of Surrey’s newest park doubles as a launch event for a summer-long program that aims to keep kids entertained.
The Park Play Palooza event at Hazelgrove Park on Saturday (June 25) kicks off similar Park Play gatherings held weekdays at dozens of neighbourhood parks across the city from July 4 until Aug. 31, excluding stat holidays, as part of a rotating calendar.
Drop-in games and art-related activities are featured at Park Play events, which are free to attend for kids and their caregivers/parents.
Park Play was launched in 2006 by the city’s parks department as a “grassroots” initiative, said Dan Nielsen, a manager of the program with the City of Surrey.
“We bring out a van and we have sports equipment, building blocks, crafts, things to take advantage of the open park space and allow kids to get creative,” he said.
“We encourage families to get involved in the activities,” he added.
For example, the rain-or-shine sessions are held Mondays at Guildford’s Erma Stephenson Park and also Bridgeview Park, among other places. Park Play places on Tuesdays include Frost Road Park in Fleetwood, and Newton’s Everyshine Park is among Wednesday sites. Thursday and Friday sessions, along with the complete program calendar, can be found at Surrey.ca/parkplay.
CLICK HERE to see PDF schedule.
Saturday’s Park Play kickoff event at Hazelgrove Park runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 7080 190th St., featuring an outdoor rock wall, face painting and live music.
The 8.65-acre community park at Hazelgrove includes a grass soccer field, playground, spray park, tennis courts and a basketball court. Surrey’s first purpose-built parkour course is also an attraction there.
The park features a new work of public art called “Water Guardians,” (PICTURED) created by artist Susan Point to resemble a large red umbrella with a hooked handle.
“The vibrant red canopy is made of aluminum and stretches (three) metres across, with a 3.6-metre-long stainless steel pipe that forms the umbrella handle,” reads a post on the city’s website, Surrey.ca. “Standing underneath the canopy, one can see four intricate Coast Salish style frogs formed by the pierced metalwork. Point’s use of the smiling frog and tadpole motifs represent the continuance of life and the transformation from small beginnings. Frogs also symbolize the rhythm of the land. Songs sung by frogs have always been the indicators of the changing seasons to First Nations people of the Pacific Northwest.”
• Elsewhere in Surrey, several examples of public art will be unveiled this month.
New to the lobby at Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre is “Four Seasons,” featuring four 30-inch buffalo-hide drums, by Brandon Gabriel and and Melinda Bige. The art is a gift to the city from Lehigh Hansen Materials Ltd and was an initiative of the Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group (Kwantlen Nation).
At the new Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre in South Surrey, “Circulation” has been created by Pierre Sasseville and Jean-François Cooke.
“‘Circulation’ is a two-part sculpture featuring deer that references the dual purpose of the new Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre,” according to a post at Surrey.ca.
“Situated near the shallow end, a giant bronze fawn drinks from a fountain, representing the recreational side of the pool. Near the deep end, six deer confront each other, symbolizing the competitions that will take place at this 10-lane, Olympic size pool with world-class diving facilities.”
The city’s operations centre at 6651 148th St. is home to “Sign of Signs,” crafted by Alan Storey. The wind-driven kinetic sculpture depicts “the transformation of a Surrey landscape through three spliced photographs spanning 80 years.”