A new sign, displaying the name and face of Jonathan Pitre, has been installed near the future site of an accessible park to be named in his honour. The sign was built and installed at the request of Russell Township to advertise the approval of the park, which is due to be built later this year.
Pitre, also known as the “Butterfly Boy”, was a Russell resident born with epidermolysis bullosa, a condition that makes skin fragile and prone to blisters. He helped spread awareness of the condition across Canada before his death in 2018 at the age of 17.
Council approved funding in the 2021 budget for both the park, which would be built as part of a multi-use recreation complex near the existing Russell Sports Dome in Embrun. The accessible park would be one of the first parts of the complex to be designed and built.
Casselman-based KB Media designed the sign. In a statement on social media, the company said they were “proud to make this project a reality”.
The park will be the first area in Pitre’s hometown to be named in his honour. However, an Ottawa Catholic elementary school had been named after him, as had an Ottawa Senators development camp award for the hardest working player.