Assiniboine Park Conservancy unveils details for Nature Playground, expanded
Duck Pond, and Family Centre.

WINNIPEG, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - The Assiniboine Park Conservancy has unveiled details of its first phase of redevelopment for Assiniboine Park.

Working with three of Winnipeg's leading architectural firms, the Conservancy now has comprehensive designs for the Nature Playground, expanded Duck Pond, and new Family Centre - three components of the larger future plan for Assiniboine Park, unveiled in June.

Nature Playground:

The Nature Playground will appeal to children of all ages. Designed to promote playing in nature through all seasons, it will be unlike any community play area in the world. Planned in consultation with experts in child play and development, the area will include unique features such as a sand and water play area, rolling hills, tree forts, willow tree tunnels, a children's garden with topiaries, large basket swings, net bridges, and sculptures.

Winter will see this area transformed into Winnipeg's only winter playground with snow forts and hills, toboggan slides, ice sculptures, and outdoor fire pits. "This area will be natural and completely interactive. It will evoke a sense of wonder in both children and adults alike," said Margaret Redmond, CEO, Assiniboine Park Conservancy.

Expanded Duck Pond:

The redevelopment of the Duck Pond will see this well-loved area increase to more than double its current size with an emphasis on greatly enhanced interactivity, education, and play. Children will come close to the water's edge, cross stepping stones to small islands, engage in activities such as dip-netting, and experience the area like never before. In winter months, the expanded area will create hours of enjoyment, as the pond transforms to become a skating hub for all Manitobans to enjoy.

Family Centre:

The new Family Centre will become the heart of the park. Located at the edge of the duck pond, it is designed to be in visual harmony with its beautiful surroundings. It will house an education / activity area, casual food service, event space, an inviting fireplace, and enhanced washroom facilities. The restaurant and Winnie the Bear exhibit will overlook the newly expanded duck pond, and the outdoor terrace will provide greater dimension to the space. A wonderful retreat in Winnipeg's biggest backyard!

With proper funding, this first phase could be completed in late 2010. Redmond indicated that the Conservancy is focusing on this project first because they are confident it can be completed during the time required to properly plan and prepare for more major projects, such as redeveloping the zoo and the conservatory.

"Assiniboine Park means many different things to many people. The park is rich in history and steeped in memories that span generations. The Assiniboine Park Conservancy respects the history, the revered space and the park traditions. We also look forward to transforming this civic gem into a park with attractions that will be a magnet for visitors and instil a great sense of pride in our community," added Redmond.

About Assiniboine Park Conservancy

Responsible for creating the future vision for one of Manitoba's most prized treasures, Assiniboine Park Conservancy is the not-for-profit organization that is planning to redevelop and manage Assiniboine Park's operations and ensure its ongoing financial viability. Transformational plans are underway to enhance the green space, create best-in-class facilities, and become a model of conservation - while protecting the park's cherished character for the benefit of all citizens. Chaired by Hartley Richardson, the Conservancy's board is comprised of influential leaders, who have a deep sense of responsibility for this community-owned asset. The Conservancy will rally the help of citizens, government, and the private sector, to raise the capital required to bring this vision into reality.

SOURCE ASSINIBOINE PARK CONSERVANCY

For further information: For further information: Marg Ireland, Executive Assistant, Assiniboine Park Conservancy, Office (204) 953-4512, E-mail mireland@assiniboinepark.ca

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ASSINIBOINE PARK CONSERVANCY

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