Seniors want a fair share of school field

Seniors want a fair share of school field

Dozens of seniors rallied on the corner of Blanshard Street and Hillside Avenue in Victoria on Tuesday calling for the field of S.J. Willis School to be turned into an elder-friendly park.

The seniors hope to make their plea an issue in the upcoming municipal election. They say thousands of seniors live in the Quadra Village neighbourhood, which is surrounded by busy roads, and that they have nowhere to enjoy the outdoors.

The group said Tuesday it targeted the school field as an ideal location as it has sat vacant for more than a decade and is in close proximity to several senior living facilities.

Calling on the Greater Victoria School District to work with the City of Victoria, the seniors group would like to see wide paved pathways for walkers and wheelchairs, shaded and covered seating areas for gathering, and exercise equipment set up at the field.

“Something for people to do when they can get out of their care homes and residences,” said Anne Duggan, one of the organizers, as passing cars honked in support of the call for a park.

“[Not] just a play area for us, but also for the whole community of all ages,” she said.

Although Topaz Park is nearby, the organizers said the incline of the hill it sits atop of creates a barrier for many seniors to manage, especially those in wheelchairs and those relying on walkers.

S.J. Willis School is currently being used by staff and students from Victoria High School while it undergoes a massive renovation to house more students and to be seismically upgraded.

– CFAX 1070

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