Senior residents living at McConnell Estates could have a brand new gazebo and walkway to use by next spring.
The $75,000 project would involve building a new gazebo with a concrete perimeter walkway around it. The project would transform a previously vacant green space into an accessible outdoor area for residents with mobility issues.
Terrace’s two Rotary clubs, Terrace Rotary and Terrace Skeena Valley Rotary, took initiative on the project along with Terrace Beautification Society, Northern Health, Progressive Ventures and McElhanney.
“It was a project that we could help seniors at McConnell Estates come out and enjoy the outdoors where previously they weren’t able to, particulary if they were mobility challenged,” says David Oatway, Terrace Rotary club member.
“Getting a wheelchair or walker out to this area was virtually impossible, but with the pathway and the gazebo, they can get outside and move around.”
Construction on the project began around Nov. 1. So far, crews have dug out the location for the gazebo with some clearing for the pathway around.
Most of the money for the project came from last year’s Rotary auction, along with community donations and other fundraising events. Oatway says the idea was first introduced around two years ago by City of Terrace Mayor Carol Leclerc to transform the former vacant land into an accessible outdoor gathering place for residents.
“There’s not a lot of public space within [McConnell Estates], so this creates more space for people when families come, or just go for a walk and sit outside,” Leclerc says.
The importance of creating spaces like this became clear for Leclerc when she saw the struggles her late aunt went through when she lived there.
“She was in a wheelchair on the ground floor, and when you opened up her patio door to the big green space, there was no way she could use it. Just like many other people who never used the space there with their walkers, with their canes, with their wheelchairs and mobility issues,” she says. “It was a shame to see this valuable piece of little real estate not being used by the people living at McConnell.”
Now instead of seniors having to resort to organizing barbecues in the parking lot, they can enjoy the fresh air, a safe walking space, and host events, Leclerc says.
Construction is expected to wrap up by the end of November, and ready for use once the snow melts in the spring next year.