At long last, Collingwood has its splash pad! With the Health Unit inspection completed on August 15th, the Awen’ Waterplay opened for public access this past weekend. Hours of operation for the Waterplay will be 11:00 a.m.to 8:00 p.m. with the restroom facilities open from 8:00 a.m. to dusk.
With advice provided by Dr. Duke Redbird, and with recognition of what the Awen’ Gathering Place means to the community, the Awen’ Waterplay is a representation of the Indigenous understanding of the water cycle featuring jets that emulate condensation (clouds), precipitation, and rushing groundwater.
“On behalf of Mayor Hamlin, and Council, I would like to congratulate the design and construction team on not just bringing a splashpad to Collingwood but ensuring that the Awen’ Waterplay was designed to compliment the Awen’ Gathering Place and share an Indigenous perspective on the value of water and how it connects all living things.”Deputy Mayor Tim Fryer
A waterfall is the signature feature, on the uppermost of three levels of play, and it is backdropped by an original work of art provided through a collaboration of Dr. Redbird with his late son, Jay Bell Redbird. The artwork is of an Indigenous Thunderbird, which are among the most powerful spiritual beings in Anishinaabe creation narratives. Thunderbirds (Animkiig) maintain a special, protective relationship to the Anishinaabe people and serve the practical task of commanding storm clouds and bringing much needed rain.