Kentville’s new parks and recreation director Rachel Bedingfield told town councillors something they already knew on July 14.
“The people in this town are amazing,” she said.
The town’s day camps this summer have been arranged to include children whose parents can’t afford to pay fees, but Bedingfield was stymied when those children came without food.
“As a mother, I felt heartbreak and, as the director of parks and recreation, I felt responsible,” she said. “Then I panicked. This was not in the budget.”
But telling the story resulted in offers of lunches, transportation and donations.
“I felt inspired and relieved and so proud of this town and I know you already know this, but I had to share it,” she said.
Bedingfield described her learning curve and some recent experiences where residents have started talking and sharing ideas.
She spoke of a free yoga class that has doubled in size and opened her eyes.
“In just two weeks, connections have been made. Support has been offered with tree removal and leaf raking. People are recognizing each other when they go for a walk. Community is forming.”
Mayor Dave Corkum said post-tropical storm Arthur proved that community comes together because both staff and citizens worked to counter act the damage.
Bedingfield recognized the Bike Week contribution made by volunteer Rick Gilbert toward this year’s new event. She also mentioned two men who have volunteered to help organize a family event in Oakdene Park. This project is just getting underway, she explained. The planning includes music, food and face painting.