City Parks invites public opinion on improvements to Bowmont Park
Calgary, AB – The City of Calgary Parks is holding a public open house tonight from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Varsity Community Centre (4303 Varsity Drive N.W.) to discuss improvements to Bowmont Park. Calgarians are welcome to drop in and see which portions of the park are being enhanced.
“Bowmont Park is one of the city’s most significant natural environment parks,” says Chris Manderson, Parks Urban Conversation Lead. “There’s no other park like it in the city and that’s why we’re undertaking these improvements to protect the natural integrity of the park.”
Some of the improvements include changes to off-leash area boundaries, restoration work on the river’s edge and habitats along the river, as well as design development to integrate the former Klippert gravel pit into the existing park. These changes are all occurring in the eastern portion of the park.
Manderson says participants at the last open house held in May 2013 shared concerns around proposed changes to off-leash area boundaries in the park. Specifically, park visitors wanted the piece of land off of 40th Avenue retained as an off-leash area, along with the land adjacent to the river.
“We heard loud and clear from the public their preferences for off-leash areas in the park, so we decided to preserve the land off of 40th Ave as an off-leash area,” says Manderson.
Although the land adjacent to the river will have to become on-leash due to the conflict between sensitive natural habitats in the area and off-leash use, Parks is investigating the option of installing designated off-leash river access points along the riverbank so park visitors and their dogs can still enjoy the water on hot summer days.
“One way to resolve this conflict, which is clearly evident along the river’s edge, would be to deny access to the river completely. We don’t think this is a good solution, so this is why we’re looking into these off-leash river access points,” says Manderson.
Parks is also proposing the removal of the playground in the off-leash area adjacent to 40th Ave, and the redevelopment of the other playground just 250 metres away near the sports field.
“Removing the playground in the off-leash area would reduce dog/children interactions, which is a source of stress for some children and their families,” says Manderson. “The removal would also provide dogs more space to play freely. At the same time, we can redevelop the second playground making a better place for children to play.”
Once the playground is taken out, benches would be added so dog owners and other park visitors could sit, socialize and watch their dogs play.
Parks is seeking public feedback on both the removal of the playground and the installation of the off-leash river access points. People can provide their feedback at the open house tonight or online at calgary.ca/bowmontparkimprovements.
The City of Calgary Water Services will also share updates at the open house around the design development and construction schedule of the former Klippert gravel pit, as well as the riverbank stabilization work happening along Home Road.
For more information about improvements happening in Bowmont Park, please visit calgary.ca/bowmontparkimprovements.
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Chris Manderson is available for media interviews from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. this morning only and then again at the open house. For more information, media can Submit Inquiries Online, email CSPSMedia@Calgary.ca or call 403-828-2954, option #2.