Fredericton, NB – Lee MacPherson, grandfather of a Garden Creek Elementary School student, recently donated $100 thousand to the school’s Lilypad Legacy Playground Project in honour of his wife Dianna, a schoolteacher who recently passed away in the fall of 2022.

MacPherson says, “Giving back to the school for this much-needed cause will honour her memory, her love of children, and all things educational. Dianna’s lifelong dream was to be a teacher, and she cherished every moment of it.” Dianna MacPherson taught at Harvey Elementary School, New Maryland Elementary School, and Garden Creek Elementary School.

The idea for the Lilypad Legacy Playground Project originated from Parent School Support Committee (PSSC) and Garden Creek Home and School Committee members who approached the school administration last spring looking for ways to improve the school’s playground area. In wet seasons, the playground often floods and becomes unusable, and play structures have warped out of shape or sunk into the ground.

MacPherson’s contribution will be able to cover most of the cost of a large climbing circuit structure and a large sliding structure, including installation. “From a school standpoint, this donation is an incredible aid and will provide our students and families with a functional, accessible facility that is modern, has variety, and is visually appealing,” says Garden Creek Elementary School Principal Alex Yaychuk. Yaychuk is a key committee member moving this project forward. Director of Schools for the Fredericton Area, Darla Day, shares her appreciation for the donation: “This is extremely exciting news for Garden Creek Elementary.

The School and School District are very grateful for this most generous contribution by Mr. MacPherson.”

Restructuring the playground area and soccer field, removing old playground equipment, and installing new structures that are accessible and inclusive not only benefits the school’s students, but Yaychuk believes the site will become a destination for hundreds of community members in the Garden Creek and Woodstock Road area.

School district plans for a new drainage system are in motion, and fundraising efforts continue to move forward. Before MacPherson’s donation, the committee secured over $60 thousand from community members and business owners.