Cottonwood Island Park Up for Renewal
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.
Comments for this article are closed.