News

First 10 parks announced for revitalization

By Ray Spiteri, Niagara Falls Review

Solar Park in Niagara Falls was announced on Thursday, April 20, 2017 as one of the 10 city parks that will undergo a revitalization in 2017.
(Ray Spiteri/Niagara Falls Review/Postmedia Network)

Solar Park in Niagara Falls was announced on Thursday, April 20, 2017 as one of the 10 city parks that will undergo a revitalization in 2017. (Ray Spiteri/Niagara Falls Review/Postmedia Network)

The process of revitalizing the city’s inventory of parks is about to begin.

On Thursday, the municipality announced the 10 playgrounds that will be replaced this year.

It’s part of a plan outlined by Mayor Jim Diodati during his state of the city address last month, where he said 10 parks will be replaced in 2017, along with another 10 in 2018.

The 10 playgrounds that will be replaced this year are: Chippawa Lions Park (3970 Welland Street); FJ Miller Park (7018 Valiant Street); Glenview Park (4521 Leader Lane); Gustavus Munroe Park (8180 Rideau Street); Ontario Park (5300 Ontario Avenue); Prince Edward Park (5522 Prince Edward Avenue); Royal Manor Park (5616 Glamis Crescent); Solar Park (6519 Jupiter Boulevard); Stamford Lions Park (3843 Orlando Drive); and Westfield Park (6983 Warden Avenue).

The playgrounds were selected based on the city’s 10-year infrastructure assessment and the desire to geographically spread the replacements across the community.

All park improvement projects will include new playground equipment, accessible pathways, seating, bike racks, signage and landscaping.

All new playgrounds will receive an accessible artificial turf-safety surfacing instead of the typical engineered wood-chip surfacing.

Ontario and FJ Miller parks will each have a tennis court refurbished and a new multi-purpose basketball court established.

As part of the Canada 150 celebrations, the new playground at Royal Manor Park will have a Canadiana theme.

Diodati said city staff ranked the parks in most need of refurbishment.

“My input was about moving it forward more aggressively and also working with the park-equipment companies. We’re going to get more playgrounds at a better price (based on) economies of scale,” he said.

“We have more of standardized park installation, so we’re not going to redesign every single park. We’re going to have a couple of options, but in large they’re going to be very similar because they’re neighbourhood parks, so most neighbourhoods want the same things, some things to climb on, some things to swing on, you want it to be in some ways to be accessible and low maintenance.”

He said with rubberized surfaces, the city will avoid the problems they experienced with older parks that have gravel or wood-chip surfaces.

“Sometimes there were problems with glass or needles or things like that. With the rubberized surface, it eliminates that and it also eliminates one less way of getting hurt.”

The city encourages residents to sign up to its online engagement site letstalk.niagarafalls.ca, where the opportunity to vote on two different playground designs for Glenview; Gustavus; Prince Edward; Stamford; and Westfield will be made available in the coming weeks.

The first playground opening will take place at 10 a.m. on May 6 at Solar Park.

The remainder of the park structures replacement will begin in July and is expected to be completed by the fall.

rspiteri@postmedia.com



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