Seaforth splash pad truly a community project says Wood
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Work to create a splash pad in Seaforth is moving ahead, with the goal of having it installed and open by the end of June, thanks to tremendous co-operation between the community’s residents, service clubs and business community.
Dean Wood of Envira-North Systems Limited is spearheading the project, which began to take shape in the later summer months of 2021. Wood said his company wanted to take the lead on a large project in the community, similar to when it aided a daycare in the town, though that was before Wood’s time with the company.
Wood said he approached Luke Janmaat of Progressive Turf in Seaforth about the idea and he was immediately supportive. Envira-North and Progressive Turf aimed to take the lead on creating a splash pad and contributed $30,000 and $25,000 respectively to the project right off the bat to show their commitment to the $350,000 endeavour.
A splash pad just made sense for the community, Wood said, looking at the existing infrastructure and in speaking with residents. Wood, who is himself a parent, said he has often had to drive to other communities for the use of a splash pad with his children, so he personally felt it was a good fit for Seaforth, in addition to what he was hearing from the residents.
Because of the infrastructure in place at the Seaforth Lions Park, the pair approached the club for a partnership on the project and soon enough they were all working together.
Wood said that Envira-North has a strong history of giving back to its communities and this is no different. He said the company has donated in smaller chunks over the years, whether it be to the Huron County Christmas Bureau, local food banks or others, but this was a larger project that he felt would bring the community together.
So, when Envira-North and Progressive Turf donated large sums of money to kick off the campaign, Wood said he and Janmaat were hoping to bring the rest of the Seaforth business community along, in addition to showing the amount of commitment involved for such a high-cost project.
Wood and Janmaat began making calls and most businesses in town have jumped aboard, contributing money and/or services and encouraging residents and employees to do the same, often creating matching donation campaigns or other creative forms of fundraising to infuse money into the project.
Jenny Richie of Jenny Richie Artistry, for example, started a regular Facebook auction with several of Seaforth’s main street businesses to raise money for the project, while those at Total Image II have been recognizing donors with water droplet stickers on the salon’s windows and also matching donations.
The Seaforth Centenaires donated $1,500 from their Easter egg hunt and breakfast towards the project, while Larry Dolmage donated $1,000 from his annual Big Buck Show, which was held in Brussels earlier this year.
Wood also said a number of other businesses have donated both money and services to help the project. With a final fundraising goal of $350,000, Wood said the group is well on its way, with progress being tracked via a thermometer stationed on the town’s main street.
As for the progress of the project, the group has been working with Huron East Council to make it a reality, making several presentations in recent months. A recent site visit set the wheels in motion with the goal of having the splash pad ready for this summer.
Wood said the group is still looking for donations towards the project. Those willing to donate can do so via e-transfer to email@example.com or by cash or cheque by contacting Wood at 519-606-2189.