Blackfalds is one step closer to new park and recreational amenities.
Recently, Blackfalds Town council adopted three new concept plans from RC Strategies for two new parks and an improvement to Blackfalds’ existing campground.
Sean Barnes, director of community services for the Town of Blackfalds, said it will take both time and money to implement the plans and build the parks. He added that at this time, the Town does not have a timeline for completion of the projects.
“We just know we have to get it done.”
Barnes said that the campground was and is a high priority for the Town as utilization continues to increase. Ball tournaments, events which make for the most frequent use of the campground, continue to increase both in number and size in Blackfalds each summer.
Barnes said that about 18 ball tournaments are held each summer, some with more than 70 teams.
“It’s getting hard to accommodate these guys.”
As such, the Town is already working on putting some fencing around the campground and also installing a full service dump station.
Another phase of the plan will have camping stalls organized within the campground, which is right now just an open field, said Barnes. He added that, at this time, the Town is not looking at expanding the campground, instead hoping that better organization of the campground will lead to there being more room for campers. Having said that, Barnes added that the Town will consider expanding the campground when and if more room is still needed
Another higher priority in the concept plan was putting a park in the Pine Crescent neighbourhood. Barnes said this was deemed a priority as the Town had made a previous commitment to place a park in that area.
“Pine Crescent has been pretty patient,” he said. “Now we have to deliver.”
Work has already begun with installing trails and a playground at the Pine Crescent park.
Perhaps the lowest priority in the new concept plan is the BMX park. Barnes said that, as Blackfalds already has a skateboard park (albeit an aging one) still has some usability for BMX riders.
However, plans for the park have already been shared with the Optimist Club, who are partnering with the Town to fund the BMX park, who are beginning their fundraising efforts for the facility.
When completed, the BMX park will feature a large concrete bowl as well as several other features useable by both skateboarders and BMX riders. Also included in the park will be a BMX track where Barnes said the Town hopes to be able to host races and other such events.
“This will be quite the facility, not only for Blackfalds but for Central Alberta,” said Barnes.
The need for all three of these parks was established through the 2008 facility parks needs assessment, the same assessment that led to the creation of the Abbey Centre.
Barnes said adopting the park concept plan is just another step in following the larger master plan.