Media Release: Cool New Attraction to Open in Liverpool

July 10, 2023; Liverpool, NS: Just in time for making summer memories, on Tuesday, July 11 at 9 a.m., the Spray Pad at Etli Milita’mk Universally-Designed Play Park in Liverpool, Queens County, NS is opening! As part of a phased opening, the Spray Pad, which is designed for all abilities, will be opening on July 11, and the playground equipment is expected to open in September (date to be announced).

With the heat of summer on the way, the cooling effects of the Spray Pad will be appreciated by residents and visitors alike. With sprinklers, fountain, filler buckets, jet spray units and more, the Spray Pad is an exciting way to interact with water, stay cool, and have fun.  

“It’s an exciting time in Queens County! Council is pleased that the Etli Milita’mk Spray Pad is opening, and in just a few months, the universally-designed playground equipment will be open as well. It has been a long journey to get to this day, and I extend a big thank you to Autism Nova Scotia and Debbie Wamboldt for pursuing this project. Special credit also goes to the many volunteers and community members who have worked hard to raise the funds to make Etli Milita’mlk Universally-Designed Playpark a reality. It will be wonderful to see all ages and abilities using the Spray Pad all summer long. September will be here soon, and the playground will be open and loved by many,” said Darlene Norman, Mayor of Region of Queens Municipality.

The name Etli Milita’mk was selected for the playpark after consultation with Acadia First Nation representatives. The name is Mi’kmaq and translates to “We are playing here”. The Spray Pad will be open until September from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily to all ages and abilities. It will close for a few days in late August for installation of rubber surfacing for the playground equipment. It is recommended that children under 12 be accompanied by an adult. The Spray Pad has tall (6 foot) fencing enclosing it to aid caregivers with people in their care who may wander. There are benches and shade areas as well, for user comfort.  

In 2015, a local resident, Debbie Wamboldt, approached candidates who were offering in Region of Queens Municipality’s Municipal election, and asked how they would support inclusion for residents. Wamboldt envisioned a play park in which all members of the community could play safely away from water and busy roads. Soon after the election, she approached the newly elected Council of the day, requesting support though the donation of land to site the proposed universally designed play park, and then, along with a group of supportive volunteers, set about fundraising to make the dream a reality. A planning/steering committee in partnership with Autism Nova Scotia was developed, and they (Wamboldt and members of Autism Nova Scotia) successfully approached Council for funding to supplement the community fundraising that took place and requested that the Municipality operate and maintain the playpark when completed.

The initial concept was for a universal playpark, with ramped decks, braille and audio elements as well as a Spray Pad. By November 2021, Queens Universally-Designed Play Park had exceeded their fundraising goal of $450,000; the funds are held in trust by Autism Nova Scotia, and are released as submitted invoices for the various components are completed. Design of the space in consultation with recreation professionals and people with a knowledge of accessibility and inclusion needs took place, followed by a tender process for ordering equipment, site preparation and development, as well as installation of Spray Pad components and the concrete surface throughout 2021, 2022, and 2023, with pandemic related delays along the way such as supply chain issues and staffing shortages in the manufacture and installation stages. The final stage of the playpark is expected to be completed in September, with an opening ceremony soon after completion.

 “While I am disappointed that we are hit with another delay, I feel a bit of consolation that the Spray Pad will be open for all to enjoy. We are all anxiously awaiting the completion of the park and I know it will be well worth the wait,” said Debbie Wamboldt, Queens Universally-Designed  Play Park Fundraising Committee and Spearhead of the project.

Etli Milita’mk Spray Pad is located on Old Cobb Barn Road, Brooklyn, on the grounds at Queens Place Emera Centre. Other recreational spaces on this site include Mersey Skatepark, outdoor basketball nets, a Queens Coast Playbox, Queens Place Outdoor Trail, and a sledding hill for winter use.