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$1.45M upgrade for Saanich's Rutledge Park includes makeover for pretty-in-pink elephant

Work in the park — which includes a new splash pad set to open June 24 — cost $1.45 million.
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Rutley the elephant, who watches over Saanich’s Rutledge Park, got a new pink coat of paint this past week ahead of the park’s grand reopening, scheduled for June 24. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

A spiffy-looking pink elephant will greet parkgoers looking to try out the new splash pad at Rutledge Park in Saanich.

The pachyderm, nicknamed Rutley, received a fresh coat of paint this past week ahead of the park’s grand reopening on June 24, when Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock, along with students from Cloverdale Traditional School, will turn on the taps for the seasonal splash pad.

The event will include speeches and a performance by the Lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Dancers.

Work in the park — including new pathways, a drinking ­fountain, a new washroom ­building and modern playground equipment — was budgeted at $1.45 million.

The original 1998 renewal plans for Rutledge Park called for a splash pad, but that was deferred indefinitely due to budget shortfalls.

The possibility was revived in 2015 by the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association.

B.C. was the biggest project funder with $535,342, while Ottawa kicked in $370,650 and Saanich contributed $329,508.

Additional contributions included $30,000 from Tire Stewardship B.C. and $10,000 from the Quadra Cedar Hill Community Association.

91ԭ-based landscape architecture firm VDZ+A Consulting won the contract for the playground.