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October 27, 2017 7:25 pm

Park Strategy Approval Sets Stage for Playground Removal

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 @ 5:56 AM

Prince George, B.C.-  Prince George City Council has approved the Park Strategy  which calls  for  the  removal of  equipment from a number  of playgrounds in the City.

The Park Strategy has been  in the works for more than a year   during which time there has been  considerable public consultation.    The public told Parks staff they want  more access to the rivers  and trail connectivity.    With  a number of playgrounds having equipment that  no longer  meet CSA standards,  and some that are in areas where there are other facilities available, the decision was made to  dismantle  a number of playgrounds, rather than  pay  ( on average) $75 thousand dollars per  playground to refurbish the sites.

The plan  means,  that at  the end of 5 years,  the City will have reduced its playgrounds from the current 66,  to 48.



Parks staff say some of the sites  could be repurposed  as  “maintaining open lawn areas for  a number of  activities,  natural sites with open walking routes to access  other areas of a neighbourhood,   or,  if considered “surplus”  coule be sold  and the proceeds put towards upgrading or maintaining other higher priority  parks.

Members of Council received  numerous emails from residents  in College Heights concerned this strategy  was linked to the future of  Eton Park.  That park  has sparked concern  as  there is a developer looking to build a subdivision  for seniors housing in a portion of that property.   Mayor Hall made it clear the  strategy is not tied to  that specific issue,  and any  potential changes to that park would have to go through a  process that would be put  before Council  before  there are any changes to the use of the land.

Mayor Hall says the Park strategy is similar to the work being done in  assessing  infrastructure such as  Fire Hall Number 1, and other recreational facilities “We’ve  talked a lot about infrastructure, and infrastructure is not, as I’ve said  several times, the pipes underground, It’s our buildings, it’s our parks,   really everything  we own.”   The Mayor adds “It’s important work to be done so that we can identify   where  short falls are, what work we have to put into it, and as Sean (LeBrun, Parks Manager) has  asked many times, more money.”    The Mayor  says if there is any  property that is  considered surplus it will head back to Council  “That’s the safety net piece that  I like.  It’s no different than what we did a few years ago with tennis courts.  Tennis courts that were really in bad repair.  The asphalt was heaving, cracked, we were attempting  to try and maintain them.  So Council had an opportunity  to participate in the process.”

Council has also  given the green light to  an assessment of all the ball diamonds  and  sport fields in the City.  That work   is expected to be complete later this year.



“Parks staff say some of the sites could be repurposed as “maintaining open lawn areas for a number of activities,…”

They forgot to include that they can be used as yet another spot for inconsiderate dog owners to leave their dog’s crap.

This is just another method the City uses to reclaim green areas to be resold for development…

hmmmm Certainly don’t see 75,000 dollars spent on each Park each year..

    The 75,000 is the estimate to make each old playground conform to the new rules on safety. Instead of spending the funds they will rip out the existing playgrounds at a cheaper cost which was not disclosed and leave an area that can be planted in grass and easier to consider surplus land.

That’s it, take more outside play options away from the kids.

Cost of the parks is replacement of swings, etc. At Harry Loder Park it took two years for the City to replace the baby swing only to have it destroyed in one week. Maybe that is why some of the parks are on the lists.

This is a sell out of the neighbourhoods that use these parks. Nothing new from a mayor that sold out 23 neighbourhoods in his school closures while Chairman of the school board. Same story that they need to cut costs. Now add 18 neighbourhoods to his list of neighbourhoods that got sold out in not just cut backs, but in the end real estate deals that remove public space from these neighbohoids.

I remember getting shot at by the Chinese guy that bought the school at Foothills and North Nechako shortly after he bought that property because he didn’t want anyone riding dirt bikes behind his property. He chased kids off the playground, wouldn’t allow locals to use the ball field, and essentially removed local access to the area around the school grounds and not just the privatized property. This is the kind of behaviour we can expect with these local parks in a few years time when Mayor Lyn Halls vision goes to stage two.

Some of these parks are still high use parks. Ochakwin for example is heavily used every day by kids that draws from half of Foothills subdivision… Maybe a future cond development…..

Rediculous abuse of bureaucracy IMO.

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