Krystal L’Heureux

Krystal L’Heureux

Pop-up park worth the effort: Neufeld

The summer’s pop-up park pilot project was a success.

The summer’s pop-up park pilot project was a success and something Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake executive director Matt Neufeld hopes will happen again next year.

“It created activities in the park which was our intent,” Neufeld said. “It was well received, the community really enjoyed it and we had lots of good feedback.”

The weather in July was not that great, but rain or shine, kids came out to the park, he added.

Neufeld proposed the pilot project to city council after a 14-year-old boy was robbed at gunpoint of his BMX bike at the skate park on a Monday afternoon in February of this year.

City council approved funding to cover the staffing for the project and Telus chose the pop-up park for a cause marketing campaign.

Youth workers Justin Code and Helena Morgan ran the program in the park from 3:30 to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday from June 20 until Sept. 2.

They parked the Boys and Girls Club van there and wore bright coloured T-shirts.

Some days as many as 40 kids participated, but most days a steady number of 10 to 15 kids became the regulars, Morgan said.

Monday was sports day, Tuesday was random, Wednesday was water, Thursday was arts and crafts, and Friday was theme day..

“There were some instances where we couldn’t follow through because of the weather, but for the most part we did,” Morgan said.

Code enjoyed meeting youth who would already be using the park and doing a variety of activities with them.

“We deepened friendships,” he said. “I am so grateful to the boys and girls club for being able to offer the program to families. It makes me proud to live in Williams Lake.”

RCMP Staff Sgt. Del Byron said it was great having extra eyes and ears in the park to call the police if it was warranted.

Neufeld said the staff will evaluate the program and hopefully will be able to offer the program next year if there is funding available.

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