Four names in running for bee-utifal new park in west Whitby

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Published August 3, 2021 at 2:25 pm

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The new name for a park in west Whitby is down to four names, with the Town now reviewing a public survey to find an appropriate name for what represents the largest park investment in Whitby’s history.

The four choices honour a historic farming family; a former Mayor and space-age pioneer; an 1870 horse race; and a swarm of honey bees that made a famous rest stop on a stop sign in the neighbourhood last year.

The simple solution is to name it after former Mayor Des Newman, who made a name in aerospace when coatings developed at his Cametoid company were used on the Canadarm, as the park is located on Des Newman Boulevard.

But there is some traction to honour the Atkinson family, as well as Queen’s Common Park, to commemorate the Queen’s Plate held in the area in 1870.

But the sentimental favourite might be Pollinator District Park, which recognizes the moment a swarm of 40,000 honey bees brought the community together when they stopped on a sign at the intersection of George Holley Street and Little Beck Crescent.

Naming the park after the bees would also reinforce the Town’s commitment as a Bee City and to Mayor Don Mitchell’s Monarch Butterfly Pledge.

The park design is expected to include a soccer and rugby sports field, a pickleball and multi-use basketball area, splash pad, exercise equipment area, and playground designs, including a bee-themed playground rendering.

Other elements being incorporated into the design include plants to attract native pollinator species; a honeycomb inspired hexagon-shaped shade shelter with bee ornamentation; a yellow and black tone themed playground with bee and honeycomb details throughout, a large bee climber, bees cut-outs at the playground, roofs with floral details and honeycomb climbers.

An interpretive sign shaped like a stop sign will be installed beside the sand play area to outline the inspiration for the bee theme for the park, and the neighbourhood’s story of the bee swarm that was found nearby.

The construction contract is expected to start this month and be open by next spring.

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