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Aquatic spray park planned for Northwood Playfield

$500,000 park will have a Water Is Life theme, based on Indigenous feedback.
Northwood Playfield
The City of Thunder Bay's Northwood Playfield Park is located on North James Street (Google Street View)

THUNDER BAY — The City of Thunder Bay is looking for a contractor to design and install a new aquatic spray park in the Northwood Playfield on North James Street.

The budget is $500,000.

City officials are putting heavy emphasis on the thematic design of the facility.

The primary theme of "Water is Life" was developed during extensive consultations with stakeholders including Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.

"This theme is an important Anishnawbe teaching and must be incorporated in a respectful manner," the city's Request For Proposals states.

One Indigenous person commented during consultations that "We must respect water because without it, nothing can live."

Another individual said "Water is life is a belief that requires the city to adopt and adapt that value system into its way of doing things."

A variety of recommendations were made to carry out the theme, including:

  • turquoise or varying shades of blue as the primary colour
  • water features resembling area bodies of water such as Lake Superior and Lake Nipigon
  • language components to include the Indigenous language
  • a rain garden
  • restricted access to pets in the park or adjacent area to avoid contamination
  • educational content reflecting the importance of water in Indigenous culture

The city wants the design to include age-appropriate play zones including a high action area, intermediate play area and toddler area.

The spray park would be about 900 square metres.

According to the current posted schedule for the project, an Elder Council will review contractors' proposals in early May, and the job will be awarded soon after.

Construction will be completed by the end of October.

Gary Rinne

About the Author: Gary Rinne

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Gary started part-time at Tbnewswatch in 2016 after retiring from the CBC
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