Steinbach now has a park named after former Mayor Chris Goertzen, and Goertzen is extremely thankful.
“It’s such an honour. It's been an honor to work for the city for those 16 years at City Hall. There's so much going on in our city, we have such a great city to represent and it was a really good time, and so it's humbling to have this happen. You don't expect it, but it's a nice gesture.”
During his time as mayor, he was able to name a park after another former mayor.
“I did connect with Les Magnusson and we arranged to make sure that Les Magnusson Park came to an existence,” he says. “He served 11 years and he and that council built that foundation that we were able to work with. And so everyone plays their part in a growing city that has potential, and that's certainly what we are today.”
He explains the background of Chris Goertzen Park, formerly known as Hampton Village Park, and its significance to him.
“I remember when this area was just a field. There was a farmstead there, there were trees, it was a lovely little space and it was about to be developed.”
Goertzen remembers meeting with Gary Dueck who owned G&E Home and was developing that area.
“And I said, ‘Gary, are we able to preserve this green space and not clear cut it and start over?’ Because nothing is better than a tree that was planted 40 years ago compared to a tree that's planted today,” he says. “And so he didn't want to at first, but then he realized the value of that space. And it turned out to be a great asset for that neighborhood. And I'm very pleased that he was able to make that decision.”
He is glad that the green space has turned into a park for the community.
“And now we see that great space that kids can go to from CMS or from other areas and people can enjoy it and it's a place of connection.”
Goertzen says it’s amazing we have so many parks in Steinbach, as they are a wonderful thing for the community.
“As we grow, we did and they still are at City Hall, trying to create new spaces for people to make connections with their neighbors, make connections with nature. Parks are a great feature of a city and so yeah, this is a neat little event that's happened.”
Goertzen says he often brings his kids to different parks, and he is excited to head down there with his family.
“I suspect we'll head down there one of these times and play in the play structure, explore the space and we'll make sure we enjoy that space with our friends and certainly our family.”
With files from Corny Rempel
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