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.