Stoney Creek residents lead east end park renewal project
Best friends Jordan Bailey and Ekow Fynn are inspiring children to get active while also making a difference for the environment and others.
The 24-year-old Stoney Creek residents recently recruited about 45 kids from the Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club’s McQuesten and Sanford locations for a clean-up project at Andrew Warburton Memorial Park.
“We want to get children outdoors, so they can enjoy all that it has to offer,” said Bailey, who works with kids at the McQuesten site. “We also want to instil the importance of keeping our parks clean and operational, so they can be enjoyed to the fullest. The project is, really, about kids helping kids and the community.”
Bailey, Fynn and their team of enthusiastic helpers have devoted the last two Saturdays to picking up garbage and raking up leaves at the park at 199 Tragina Ave. N. They’ve also spent time repainting backboards and lines on the basketball court, as well as replacing the mesh on the nets at the site.
Fynn, who works with children at the Sanford location, said the kids have really dedicated themselves to the project.
“They absolutely love it; they’re so proud of the work that they’ve done. Hopefully, it will motivate them to help out with another clean-up project or in other ways around the community,” he said. “I think knowing that they’re doing something that benefits not only the environment, but also other kids gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride. For them, it doesn’t feel like a chore, it feels like they’re contributing in an important way and making a difference.”
Bailey said there will be a special event to celebrate the completion of the project this Saturday (April 19) from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Andrew Warburton Memorial Park.
“It’s really to celebrate the restoration of the park,” he said. “There will be activities, games and it’s open to everyone. Thanks to a number of sponsors, we also have some great prizes that we’ll be raffling off.”
The event also will act as a fundraiser for additional events Bailey and Fynn head through D’Team Entertainment, which was founded five years ago and aims to bring kids, adults and community members together through various initiatives. Other events include an annual youth 3-on-3 basketball camp, tournament and barbecue and annual adult 3-on-3 basketball tournament and barbecue, which are both held in the summer.
“Our main objective is to bring, and build, our community together in a positive way,” Bailey said. “We’re always thinking of ideas on how we can do that and help make our city a better place. There’s nothing better than bringing people together for a good time and great cause.”