The District of Kent's parks are well used

Walking the trail to future green space development

Report finds District of Kent's parks and trails are well-used and enjoyed; looks ahead to next 25 years of development

While District of Kent residents are “well served” by existing parks and recreation amenities, there is always room for improvement, according to a recently completed report for the District.

Lees + Associates was hired to conduct an assessment of what the District has in terms of parks, amenities and trails and come up with a long-term plan for additions and improvements to the local assets. Their consultation process included two open houses, one in November, 2014 and one in March, 2015, as well as stakeholder interviews, a Council workshop, staff input and an online questionnaire. Based on their assessment, Less & Associates provided recommendations for the next 25 years, broken into five year increments.

Eric Lees said the project process included “excellent interactions with Council and the community.”

Looking at what exists now, Katy Amon of Lees + Associates commented, “Residents are well-served in terms of their access to parks.”

The District currently owns and operates 11 parks, and most residences are within a 10 minute walk of a park. Compared to other similar sized communities, the District is well served in amenities including baseball fields, outdoor basketball courts, equestrian facilities, soccer fields, skateparks, an outdoor pool and tennis courts, according to the report, adding that the quality of most amenities is “high.”

Over the next five years, the report recommends the District look to formalize camping permitting process at Alm Park, including installing a portable toilets, benches and picnic tables. They suggest developing a spray park in Agassiz and a site plan for Centennial Park.

Amon said through the consultation process, a lot of feedback was expressed around upgrades of Centennial Park. Some of the ideas for include working with Little League baseball on concession, more equipment storage, batting cages and more, working with skate park uses to establish improvement priorities, refurbishing the tennis courts and adding pickleball lines, updating the washrooms and adding benches, bike racks and additional planting beds.

Longer term, recommendations include updating Vimy Park, providing additional equipment to facilitate more multi-use courts, develop an access point for water sports at Rockwell Drive, acquire and develop a large park at Mount Woodside and Hopyard Hill, and work with a volunteer group to integrate a pump track (like a bike park) in a new park.

In regards to trails, Lees + Associates found that trails such as the Mountain View Trail is viewed as a success, as well as usage of pathways to neighbourhood parks and informal recreational use of the dykes. Through the consultation process, many spoke to trails as “top priorities.”

Lees + Associate’s recommendations for trails development include working with the Ministry of Transportation and the Village of Harrison Hot Springs to develop a trail between the two communities, seek opportunities to implement an alternate route option on Crown land, develop a circuit trail at Centennial Park and develop a lop trail at Hammersly pump station, amongst other suggestions. A longer-term trail recommendation is to seek out grant to develop a pedestrian and cyclist bridge from Pioneer Ave. to Fooks Road and develop a Fraser River trail loop.

The plan was designed to ensure that high quality, useable parkland is acquired, developed and maintained by the district, to ensure community access to parks and trails, to respond to changing public expectations and lifestyles, to guide the creation and ongoing development of parks and to set spending and investment priorities in tune with community needs. Lees & Associates’ vision is to provide access to a range of parks, outdoor recreation and trail opportunities to residents of all ages and abilities while striving to be a healthy and sustainable community.

Katy Amon and Eric Lees of Lees & Associates presented the final draft of the Park Acquisition, Improvement and Trails Development Program to the District of Kent Council in a special meeting June 22.

Just Posted

Harrison approves budget, considers future of business tax rates

Residents and businesses will see a 2.37 per cent tax increase for 2019

Chilliwack-Kent MLA unimpressed with ‘classic NDP high-tax-and-spend budget’

Laurie Throness said there was nothing in Tuesday’s presentation for Chilliwack

ACES grows the love of gardening with annual seed exchange

The event will be returning to Harrison Mills Community Hall on March 1

Murder charge formally dropped against woman accused in downtown Chilliwack killing

Stay of proceedings ordered for Victoria Purcell; Kirkland Russell to be sentenced for manslaughter

WATCH: Latest Heritage Minute episode filmed near Hope and features some dark local history

Airing on Feb. 20, the 60-second film tells the story of the Asahi and features the Tashme Museum

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Winter storm freezes U.S., halts air travel

Storm dumps snow or heavy rain, snarls travel in much of U.S.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Skier sued me to exploit my fame, wealth

The incident happened in Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah

Highway one will be closed tomorrow for avalanche control near Golden

The closure is expected to last for two hours

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Former NHL star Fleury in Surrey for conference on child abuse

At Surrey City Hall, two-day event hosted by Sophie’s Place Child and Youth Advocacy Centre

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Most Read