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Leaside community desperate to hit funding goal for Georgia Walsh playground improvements

George Walsh and her mom Jillian -COURTESY

George Walsh and her mom Jillian -COURTESY

A campaign to honour the memory of Georgia Walsh, the six-year old girl killed by a car in Leaside in 2014, is emphasizing the importance of hitting its $1.2 million target to pay for local park and playground improvements by the end of the year or see the effort wasted.

Georgia’s death had previously spawned the hugely successful “Slow Down” grassroots sign campaign that has spread across the city and been imitated by many community groups and others.  The campaign to honour Georgia’s memory also gave rise last year to the now-annual Georgia Walsh Memorial All-Star Games baseball tournament that also helped raised money for the park improvements.

At present, however, reports area publication Bayview News, the total raised since the campaign began in 2015 sits at just $600,000, which is being held in trust but which can’t be used unless the entire amount is achieved.

The funds are required to pay for improvements to the Trace Manes Playground in the leafy, sedate neighbourhood where she lived and which her mother, Jillian, says was a “favourite spot” of her daughter.

The improvements, approved by the city but requiring the $1.2 million in order to implement, would include a state-of-the-art playground and better fencing to improve safety for children using the park.

Among the improvements would be:

  • a new splash pad – reducing deep-water risks;
  • a fully fenced-in park – reducing children’s access to the road;
  • new special needs equipment – inclusive to everyone;
  • a new rubberized surface – creating wheelchair accessibility;
  • new playground equipment – accommodating a broader age range;
  • shade structures – providing sun protection;
  • a new eating area – increasing comfort and enjoyment.

For more information on the project, including sketches showing the planned improvements, as well as how to donate and the benefits available to donors, visit the website set up to honour Georgia’s memory.



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