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delesseps Dec 15, 2014 6:46 PM

[St. John's] Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces
This thread is to discuss parks, recreation facilities, and open spaces in St. John's and the surrounding municipalities.

delesseps Dec 15, 2014 7:33 PM

Parks and Open Space Master Plan
The new master plan is promising. The transition from a density-based standard of one tot lot per 70 single-family homes to a spatially based standard of a neighbourhood park within a 10 minute walk of most homes should allow for major improvements in suburban areas of the city. I'm also encouraged by the emphasis on a network of interconnected parks and open spaces and the identification of gaps in the existing trail network.

The proposed east gateway to Bowring Park is at the top of my wishlist. I toyed with a similar idea during an engineering project and came up with a tunnel beneath Pitts Memorial Drive connecting the Southbrook Walk to Bay Bulls Road near the bus stop and seniors' home on the corner of Cemetery Lane. That would allow a cycle path with a manageable 7-8% grade. Upgrading the Southbrook Walk to a mixed-use trail between the tunnel and Beacon Hill Crescent would allow cyclists access from Kilbride to the T'Railway or Waterford Bridge Road via Bowring Park Road or Grieve Street.

The high priority the plan places on a hypothetical neighbourhood park for Rabbittown seems odd given the neighbourhood's proximity to Lions Park and Kelly's Brook Park. The current sites of The Hub, Coleman's grocery store on Merrymeeting Road, and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church on Aldershot Street seem like the only realistic possibilities for a future park in Rabbittown proper. Improving pedestrian links through Rabbittown is more important in the short to mid-term. Removing the fence and building a public path from Freshwater Road to Suez Street, and building a public path from Empire Avenue to Kelly's Brook Park near the foot of Sulva Street should be the top priorities for Rabbittown.

The "non-conforming" ball field in Victoria Park must go. The disused ball field near Holy Cross Elementary would be a suitable replacement after upgrading.

BigRedSpecial Dec 16, 2014 5:17 PM

I'd like to see some discussion into what actually constitutes a "park". Some of us don't consider a softball diamond or basketball court to be a "park".

There are great areas in this city (Bowring/South Brook, Quidi Vidi Lake, most of the concourse) but most newer areas put up a playground or something and consider it sufficient green space.

delesseps Jan 8, 2015 4:29 PM

Kenmount Terrace Park
As explained in The Telegram, council awarded the master plan contract for the new Kenmount Terrace park to Trace Planning and Design, who also created the Open Space Master Plan. According to the memo included in the council agenda for January 5, "It is anticipated that primary park components will include play equipment, facilities, trails, structured trail surfaces (boardwalks, bridges), access and parking areas, visitor service buildings and significant terrain modifications. Secondary park components include signage, planting details, bollards, benches, lighting and other site amenities. The concept will relate to the landscape and graphic image of the site."

Level surfaces will be needed for playing fields, but I hope the city leaves as much forest intact as is reasonably possible. Bulldozing the 8.4 acres that aren't recognized as "ecologically valuable" before landscaping them would be disappointing. I also hope the consultants don't get carried away with the lighting. An accessible, dark sky park would be a welcome escape from the glare in built-up areas of St. John's.

delesseps Jan 18, 2015 6:15 PM

Long Pond Weir Project

Public Information Session - Long Pond Weir Project
Start Date:
Wed, 2015/01/21 - 7:00pm

The City of St. John’s is proposing to construct a concrete flood control weir structure at the outlet of Long Pond. The project was a recommendation that came out of the Rennies River Catchment Stormwater Management Plan. A public information session is planned to give residents additional information of the Long Pond Weir Project.

Information concerning the Rennies River Catchment Stormwater Management Plan and associated Long Pond Weir Project may be viewed at the Department of Planning, Development and Engineering, third floor, St. John’s City Hall.

The Public Information Session will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 7 p.m. at the Foran-Greene Room, 4th Floor, St. John’s City Hall.
The weir is one of the more benign proposals in the Rennies River Catchment Stormwater Management Plan, but some staff at MUN are worried it will raise the water table beneath campus and increase flooding in basements and the MUNnels. The Quidi Vidi/Rennie's River Development Foundation is also displeased. Homes on Pringle Place are currently most at risk of flooding, and could eventually be protected by a flood wall along Rennie's River Trail, but the plan also includes boneheaded proposals to dyke the river elsewhere. MUN's Engineering 8713 class is currently working on alternate proposals to retrofit parts of the watershed to reduce runoff using low-impact development techniques.

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