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October 27, 2017 7:50 pm

Cottonwood Island Park Up for Renewal

Sunday, December 11, 2016 @ 11:58 AM

250News archive photo of bank erosion at Cottonwood Island Park

Prince George, B.C.- Cottonwood Island Park  has undergone some additions over  2016, and  more upgrades  are planned for 2017.Recognized  as one of the ‘jewels” of the City  of Prince George,   the park has  been hit hard by flood events.

Because the park  lies within the 200 year flood plain, the park  suffers  flood damage  during the  spring freshet, and  past  ice jam events have  caused severe erosion of the park’s  riverbank  and the washout of  trails.

As a result  of flooding, it is not unusual for  trails or portions of the park to be off limits for the public.

This year,  the  park has  seen  more  tree carvings ( see previous story)  and the addition of  interpretive  signage, but the   park infrastructure  remains in need.

The park was the subject  of a  ‘condition analysis’   which  proposed a phased approach  to upgrading  the park.  The work  would see the  island’s  connection to the mainland  returned to pre-ice jam conditions.   In an effort to  protect  trails from   annual erosion issues,    trails will likely be realigned  further inland.

The  Parks department has submitted a  construction plan   with its budget  requests for 2017.   It has been suggested  that  of the  $7 million dollars allotted for  annual road repair   be  shifted  to  parks ( $1 million)  and that  another  million be  shifted to  sidewalk upgrades.   That suggestion has yet to be approved  by Council.

There is  community  support for  the upgrades to  Cottonwood Island Park   as it was a  topic  brought  forward during the TalkTober  neighbourhood community engagement  sessions, and  ranks high on the City’s  priority to  provide  more  river front access.


I laud the more river front access priority; but how does that jive with moving the trails further inland? The whole special thing about that park is the riverside trails. To bad there wasn’t an affordable way to build up a sea wall sort of fix on the river front… Maybe during the winter months when access is less intrusive and the river level is low? Even if they only did fifty foot sections in the worst spots it would go a long way. Maybe make them spots where river boats could tie up as well.

More erosion control. There needs to be trail sections near the river. Do it in phases sure but do it right. There has been alot of money wasted already through poor planning and poor engineering. There is the potential to develop the underutilized land along the riverfront for high end commercial and residential uses.

Please do yourself a favour and learn something about containing a river within a narrow “bed”.

There are enough places around the world which can be used as an example of how it is done, and how effective it is.

You might want to start by educating yourself about the Mississippi River in the USA, especially the approach the Army Corps of Engineers has taken over the past 10+ years to mitigate damage after half a century+ of trying to contain the water in a narrow bed after many decades of breaches.

Look to the old way of doings things. The logs from the old dock have been there for over a hundred years and has stood the test of all the flooding and ice jams.

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