Community members gathered on May 16 for the official grand opening celebration for Revelstoke’s newest recreation facility, a children’s playground located in Beruschi Park.
The park is located on Second Street West and is named after Pierre Beruschi, a long-time resident who donated it to the city in the 1970s.
Maureen Beruschi is Pierre’s daughter. I caught up with her as she served cake to a crowd of a few dozen huddling under a tent in the rain. She was offering a plate of cake with one hand and wiping icing off a girl’s rain jacket with the other. Her brothers David Beruschi and Anthony Beruschi were also on hand for the opening.
Her dad, says Maureen, was a family man who loved kids. He began his a career as an electrician, then became a welder with CP Rail and finally worked as a bookkeeper at the Regent Inn. She eventually worked alongside him there, and continues on 42 years later.
Pierre loved the sound of children playing, Maureen said. “They always had children around. He just thought it would be nice that we would have this park and have a place for the children to go.”
Back in the ’70s he consolidated some lots and handed him over to the city as a park. The May 16 celebration commemorated the new playground.
Maureen was thrilled to see the renovation come to fruition. “I love the spirit,” she told me. “There’s nothing more important in life than people, and guess what? Children bring you joy and happiness. When you walk by here and hear children playing in park and the sound of joy and laughter and happiness — it’s wonderful.”
The playground was funded through three sources. The City of Revelstoke paid $18,821, the Early Childhood Development Committee donated $10,000 and $10,000 in funding came from the Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives program.
Park construction was spearheaded by Tracy Spannier, of the Early Childhood Development Committee.
Spannier says a consultation process with local parents identified the park as needing improvements, so the committee started applying for grants a couple years ago. “We’re very thrilled, we’re absolutely thrilled,” Spannier said of the new playground. “It has many possible play experiences in one piece of equipment as possible,” she said. The playground includes components that build gross motor skills as well as sensory experiences, amongst other features.
Mayor of Revelstoke David Raven thanked the Beruschi family “for their contribution to the community.”
“The Beruschi family have a long, long history of contributing, not only to the economic fabric of the community, but to the social fabric — and this part is … a reminder for decades and decades for all of us of that contribution,” Raven said, thanking the family on behalf of the City of Revelstoke.
The children’s playground addition was completed last September — the ceremony marked the official grand opening.