Five OCP-designated parks

January, 2017. This page is in need up updating

March 21, 2014. Submission to project after the initial public meeting.

Overview

I understand the City worry that people will ask for more. Given that the 2010 OCP didn't really allow choice over which lands were to be park and which FD, it's my feeling that this is inevitable. A Yukon River Corridor Park, Rock Gardens Park, pieces of connection to link parks, are all still quite reasonable and should be accepted as items to be discussed as this process moves along.

I understand there'll be a push to do something fast.

Process

Next steps should be in at least two stages: First compile ideas, values, possibilities. Background, white paper kind of education. Discussion.

Second, determine 'management plan'-style things. We don't want community inter-interest hostility and we know we can be pretty polarized on issues.

2032 should be there to ensure a long term concept. We need to buy into a community vision that make people feel that 'hands off, our parks are protected', as was constantly brought up at the meeting the other evening. And as city parks, they will be ever more used and that should be part of the vision.

Stewardship/planning

I think either a per-park advisory group of interested people or a 5-OCP group.

Communication

Educating the public as we move along. Posting the progress and stages up for people to read as things move along. Things that as a Community Association or and Interest group could be shared. We can help push the public awareness throughout these initial stages, but we also need to stay connected as things move into the next stages as well.

As this process goes along I will update this page, particularly around the individual parks.

Peter

March 19, 2014. Latest from the Parks Planning folk.

February 24, 2014. Regional Parks Plan. The FAQ's are at this link As per usual, a pretty ambitious timeline, in this case, being done before summer.

Things that the initial planning process should consider

Initial City thoughts

Following are from recent CASM minutes: January 9, 2014. Municipal Parks Structure Plan

City Parks

"Prioritization of Trail Plan implementation measures shall be considered for these Park areas[click on map at right]. The City will work with stewards, user groups and interested residents to further define these unique areas within the City, subject to City resources.” 2010 OCP

On the map to the right, three of the parks are overlaid on the McIntyre Creek watershed (cyan outline) and McLean Lake watershed (thin orange outline).

2007 Parks and Recreation Master Plan

Residents have expressed a desire to place more emphasis on trail planning and protection of green spaces.

Philosophy - The Benefits-Based Approach: ...responsive to community driven and personal recreation needs but places more focus on deriving long-term health and wellness outcomes that flow from a more holistic approach.

Foster and Promote Fitness and Overall Well-being: this objective refers to a holistic wellness of the mental, the emotional and the physical – the whole person; the City's role is to provide a range of leisure opportunities that appeal to all residents enabling them to achieve a minimum level of wellness no matter what their financial resources, skill or disability levels are.

Foster Reflection and Escape from Urban Form: since time immemorial, people have sought solace and solitude – or fellowship – in the natural world to mediate[meditate?] or to heal; the City's role is to provide safe, accessible opportunities for residents to experience the restorative effects of nature (e.g. Bert Law Park).

Challenges Identified

  1. The distinction between the purpose and uses permitted in designated parks, protected areas, greenbelts and other open public open space is needs to be clarified.
  2. The public believes their concerns regarding the protection of open space are not being adequately addressed.
  3. Trail use conflicts are perceived to be increasing and there is no dispute resolution mechanism.
  4. Level and type of complaint based enforcement response to public concerns regarding litter, vandalism and inappropriate trail use is not perceived to be satisfactory or effective.
  5. The City is not doing enough to protect environmentally sensitive areas and important wildlife habitat.
  6. Citizens want more regular, formalized input into park and trail planning – there is a feeling of alienation, loss of empowerment for some while others seem to get a "veto".

Park is green;
red is industrial or commercial;
blue is future development; purple is public service/public utility

Paddy's Pond/Ice Lake Park

Our Hillcrest neighbourhood is very fortunate in having two bodies of water in our woods: Ice Lake and Paddy's Pond. The Ice Lake end of the park is very pretty, in now way pristine; while still nice, Paddy's Pond is a more 'used' pond, with rapidly changing water levels and intense trail use (and abuse.)

The whole park area has long been a great place for walking with a real variety of routes and had mostly no motorized vehicles using the area. But around the time of the new Hamilton Blvd. extension and the culvert, things started to change. The culvert acted as a destination, attracting both walkers and motorized vehicles.

  • Purple is KDFN
  • Yellow is Ta'an
  • blue is wetland
  • Lines: thin red - motorized trails
  • yellow - core trails
  • green - neighbourhood trails
  • blue - powerlines
  • thick red - trail work needed

Also, the new roadbed construction has caused water flow changes from springs in the area. The slumping on the new roadway near the culvert, as well as the winter icing of the floor of the culvert are two visible indicators. For Paddy's Pond, while water levels have varied in the past, recently the water has been consistently higher as shown by the size of the trees that are being drowned. With higher water levels and careless trail use by motorized recreational vehicles, already fragile trails have been made difficult for walking in some places and unpassable in others. Ice Lake also is seeing water level change, currently being higher than in recent times.

Let's look at an alternate, more natural, scenario for Paddy's Pond. Here's what one Hillcrest resident proposed

"One thing I had thought of is to build a mini wharf/dock type structure out into Paddy's Pond at the bottom of the toboggan hill. It could jut out past the willows and be edged with benches and railings as well as interpretive signage like those at McIntyre Creek.
This would block snowmobile traffic through that part of the pond in winter and make it so that people could sit and watch the very rich bird life on the pond in the warmer months. This could actually be part of a much longer interpretive walking trail through the whole wetland.
"

Another resident proposed cleaning up the toboggan hill, making it safe for people on the hill, trying to restore it to as it was in older days. It could become a family place, even more than it already is.

Much more about the area is discussed in the walking above the airport page.

McIntyre Creek Park

Mount McIntyre Recreation area: There's lots happening here — it's both a neighbourhood recreation area and a potential major destination. It contains the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club trails. It's also the source for McIntyre Creek.

MacLean Lake Park

Wolf Creek Park

Chadburn Lake Park

2007 Parks and Recreation Master Plan

The formal establishment of the Chadburn Lakes Park and completion of a long overdue park management plan remain a priority. Both are key components of the new 10-year plan.