Lacombians are lucky to have a number of green spaces and outdoor activity areas to enjoy and the City is taking a closer look at how to make these areas the best they can be.
As part of the Recreation and Culture Master Plan – based off of citizen input and consultation – the City of Lacombe has acknowledged the desire of residents to evaluate and upgrade green spaces so they can be used to the utmost capacity.
“One of the things we’re doing through the master plan is the Green Space Optimization Plan. That plan includes inventorying and identifying all the green spaces the City has and then evaluating them for the type of use or service levels that they offer. We also look at the condition of the equipment. After, we compare what the citizens asked for and look for opportunities to provide the services that people have asked for,” said Brenda Vaughan, community services director with the City of Lacombe.
“We are in the process of starting the assessments. We’ve simply created our inventory and now we’re going through and identifying the different green spaces. We will look at those and then create a priority list for where we should start.”
Vaughan said the City has two things to consider with the project – ongoing maintenance of the space and upgrades to the existing spaces. She said the City evaluates how the space is used, what work needs to be done and what the upkeep would look like in the designated area.
“For example Kew Gardens is an area where we are consulting nearby residents and learning how they want to see that space retrofitted. That’s an example of maintenance and upkeep,” Vaughan said.
“Elizabeth Park phase 10 is a new park that is scheduled to be built in 2016. We’re currently working with residents in the area to find out what they want in design elements and asking them what they’d like to see in their neighbourhood park.”
The Green Space Optimization Plan will roll out over a number of years. Vaughan said green spaces would remain unchanged after evaluation if they are in perfect order and are meeting service needs.
Other aspects of the Plan have so far included awarding a landscape services contract to Lombard North and designing for the off-leash dog park, Kew Gardens and Elizabeth Park. These three designs and the appropriate public and council consultations are a major focus for 2015. As well, a review of the program commenced earlier this month to ensure the City is staying on track with previous plans.
“Currently, we’re working on the green spaces review and then that will tell us what we’re going to be doing over the next 10 or 15 years. The other thing we’re going to be doing as part of the Recreation and Culture Master Plan is ongoing analysis for facilities – that whole question of what kinds of facilities we should have based on our population and the kinds of activities that the citizens are advocating for,” Vaughan said.
“The express goal of that master plan is to try and align what the citizens are looking for with the services that you’re providing as a City. The citizens of Lacombe are engaged and happy to let us know what’s on their mind. People come up with great ideas and we’re always happy to hear those.”