There is a saying that the grass is greener where you water it and that couldn’t be more true in the revitalization of Woodlands Park, located right in the middle of the Barton Village Neighbourhood and directly adjacent to the Westinghouse HQ building.
Westinghouse HQ is a proud supporter of Woodlands Park, which has been adopted by the Barton Village Business Improvement Association (BIA), in partnership with the GALA community and 541 Eatery and Exchange. The Barton Village Neighbourhood is very lucky to have a very active BIA, led by Executive Director Rachel Braithwaite.
Started in 1987, the Barton Village BIA focuses on enhancing the street, making it a better place for businesses and the community by organizing beautification and community initiatives dedicated to making the neighbourhood a safe and thriving place to live and work.
A couple of weeks ago, volunteers gathered at Woodlands Park for one of the many clean up efforts that will take place over the year. It may not be well known, but public parks are cared for predominantly through volunteers and community groups.
Executive Director, Rachel Braithwaite explains the responsibility of caring for Woodlands Park, “when you adopt a park, you commit to organizing clean ups, keeping an eye on the park for vandalism and ensuring it’s used and enjoyed by the community. If there are flowers in a park, they are planted their by community members.” Over the last few years the City of Hamilton listened to the needs of the community and added a new play structure, a soccer pitch and a multi purpose court for basketball and ball hockey
The changes to Woodlands Park has had an incredible impact on the community. With many young families in the area, the transformation of the park has provided a much needed place for kids to play and enjoy the outdoors. There is also an increase in community groups using the park for events and 541 Eatery and Exchange hosts their annual soccer camp at the park.
Meir Dick, Managing Partner of Westinghouse HQ and a member of the Board of Directors for the Barton Village BIA says, “historically, Woodlands Park, was always a focal point of the community and Westinghouse HQ is committed to supporting the continual revitalization of this important community hub.”
With the proximity of the park, directly outside the Westinghouse HQ doors, Dick expects upcoming events, weddings and business function to flow out into the park and continue to add vibrancy to the neighbourhood.
So what’s next for Woodlands Park? Braithwaite shares that this summer there will be a graffiti wall by the Fire Station to encourage young artists and they are hopeful for a Splash Pad to be added in the coming years.
The transformation of Woodlands Park is just another example of the exciting and progressive change that is happening on Barton St. With committed and passionate community members, such as Brenda Duke, who is responsible for the transformation of a number of green spaces in this neighbourhood and others who give of their time and energy to the beatification of this place, now is the time to get involved and consider joining this wonderful Hamilton neighbourhood.
If you’re interested in volunteering with Woodlands Park clean ups, or other BIA initiatives, please contact Executive Director, Rachel Braithwaite by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 289-682-9472.