As we began the Public Consultation process, we approached groups within the community to be our initial sounding boards for the preliminary design direction and character of Errington Community Park. These stakeholders were selected for their meaningful and comprehensive insights for the vision of the bike park and the playground concept. The groups consulted were the Hall Board, Heartwood Home Learners, and Errington Elementary.
The presentation of the preliminary design direction and the proposed character of the bike park and playground was well received. Renée Lussier, Parks Planner presented the concept diagram and highlighted the potential amenities within the park. Below is an overview of the meetings.
Conceptual Diagram. Reviewed the layout of proposed features within the bike park and playground project. This review included a discussion of the character of the elements and the materials of the equipment placed within the defined spaces of the park.
Proposed Park Plan Features. A gateway marks the entrance into the bike park at the corner of Veteran's Road and Memorial. The gateway could include signage for information and be a point of focus for the project. Nodes within the park could intersect various spaces thus providing places to gather and offer directional information. Transition areas link park features or mark a boundary to a park feature. These transitions can provide seating opportunities, viewing opportunities, or areas of pocket planting. The field would remain and be resized to accommodate the new features but still be used efficiently for special event parking. A trail extension would provide a link from Memorial Road to the bike park and playground and continue the system into the greater area of Errington Community Park. Planting trees and considering an edible plant palette could be provided along the outside edges of the new park plan concept.
Proposed Bike Park. The bike park would feature 3 jump lines, a technical trail within the existing treed area, and a pump track. Dirt surfacing is currently being considered for all bike park elements, but other surfacing options will be explored as well. A large mound for the jump lines would be able to also provide storage opportunities under the soil surface for maintenance items and community games and equipment.
Proposed Playground. The playground could focus on adventure play and motor skill development. This playground 'character' would link well with the bike park amenity. In order to provide equipment for all ages, abilities, and interests, a parkour park feature is proposed. Providing a linear parkour park would allow this element to connect with the larger, established trail network throughout Errington Community Park. A parkour park would provide an active place for youth who have aged out of playgrounds and youth who are less interested in the bike park amenity.
Presentation Discussion. We discussed the material options for the playground and parkour park and there was an overwhelming desire to use natural material (timber) for play equipment. The focus should be on local products and whenever possible, community involvement during the process. The response to the conceptual diagram was positive; continuing with the park plan ideas as presented and discussed was strongly encouraged. Comments on the concept diagram are as follows:
- provide community field games storage and separate park tools storage is desired
- include picnic tables
- include bear-proof trash receptacles
- provide a second exit for vehicles during special events
- note: the road parking is very wet - there were some conflicting comments on this, so monitoring the area over the wet season is advisable
- note: concern for field size - would prefer it to be 50m x 50m
- allow for community art, community installation along the trail of adjacent the various features
- include ways for the community to participate in the design and construction of the playground
- include children in the design and construction process as a learning tool
- allow for an area of the park to be designed by children - either near the playground, in the playground area, or adjacent the trails
- establish an edible plant palette
- include children's touch garden
- provide a plant identification map
- for future consideration - a trail connection from Errington Elementary to Errington Community Park
Updates to the concept diagram are ongoing and will endeavour to meaningfully include the input provided by the stakeholder groups as the design progresses. Preparation for the Open House is underway and has been presented at the March POSAC meeting for comment and direction. Stay tuned!