The City of Lacombe is pleased to bring back the popular parklet program for a second year, with the installation of two parklets in the City’s downtown – one at the corner of Hwy. 12 and Hwy. 2A, and the other located south of the Blacksmith Shop Museum on 49th St.
“The parklets are one of the ways that the City is implementing its downtown revitalization plan, so that we can provide some seating and park-like spaces to improve the pedestrian environment,” said Planning and Development Manager Lyla Peter. “The parklets have generated a lot of conversation in the community, and we are working to build on the support the project has received from residents.”
Parklets are used in cities across the world to bring seating and shared spaces for pedestrians in urban environments. As they are municipally-led, they must be located on land that a city or town already owns. This often means that they are located in parking spaces or on sidewalks.
Lacombe’s parklets feature a number of recreational amenities including a ping-pong table, which has proven to be quite successful. The City supplies ping-pong rackets and balls in a little box underneath the table and regularly replaces worn out items. The box also holds a number of other fun activities for young and old alike, including sidewalk chalk, playing cards and jump ropes.
“We are also looking to add a new addition to the Blacksmith Shop parklet – a free mini-library,” said Peter. “When the public library was closed due to flooding, staff thought a mini-library could build community spirit while the facility was being restored; however, as they quickly set up temporary operations, the mini-library concept was shifted to the parklet program.”
According to Peter, the parklet program is an evolving concept and that staff are open to new ideas about what should be in the parklets, or where they should be located.
“As the parklet season drew to a close last year, we asked the public for input on where they should be located this year,” said Peter. “We also reached out to the community for suggestions on locations and the Blacksmith Shop Museum location was suggested. As it was on City-owned land, provided some shade, and took the ping-pong table off the street, we thought it was a great location.”
The City is also looking to host a parklet lunch hour event in July, to raise awareness of the program and bring more people into the parklet spaces. Event details will be shared publicly as soon as they become available.
If residents have any questions or comments about the parklet program or the Downtown Area Revitalization Plan (DARP), they can contact the Planning Department at email@example.com or call 403-782-1264.