Park Stategy Up for Final Approval
Prince George, B.C.- The Park Strategy, which has been in the works for over a year, will be put before Prince George City Council this evening, for final approval.
The strategy puts forth a five year plan, with work starting this year to dismantle 25 playgrounds in the City and replace equipment in 5 others. When it comes to playgrounds, replacing equipment with new equipment that meets current CSA standards is a costly measure with an average cost of $75 thousand dollars per playground.
By the end of the five year action plan, the City will have reduced its playground inventory from the current 66, to 48. The playgrounds which have been removed will see the sites “reviewed to determine how they can be repurposed for alternative park use.”
The Strategy also calls for a detailed examination of the Ball diamonds and Sports fields in Prince George. There are 56 ball diamonds, and 47 sport fields. A detailed inventory will be undertaken to assess use and condition.
Later this year, the Park Strategy will start work on developing a “Parkland Disbursement Policy” which will set the guidelines for the possible sale or repurposing of “redundant sites” and provide funding for park investment.
Once that policy has been developed and there has been public consultation, potential sites for disbursement or repurposing will be identified.
Why is the City doing this? The demand has changed with residents desiring more river access, trails and destination parks like that at Duchess Park in the Crescents area. There are dwindling resources to maintain the current inventory of parks so in order to meet the demand and put investments where they are most desired, the staff report on parks says “the quality of parks can be improved if the existing inventory is reduced, services are realigned or additional resources are added.”