St. John's city council has unanimously approved spending $1.5 million to develop land near Kelsey Drive and Kenmount Terrace into a park. 

The 12-hectare chunk of land is currently a thick tangle of scrub spruce and wetlands, but Mayor Dennis O'Keefe says the city has big plans for it.

"It's going to be a beautiful area with a pristine natural habitat as part of it," said O'Keefe.

The city bought the section of the land for $800,000 from the developer of Kenmount Terrace. The city also got the wetland portion of the land, which is three times larger than the park area, for one dollar.

The city will also spend about $700,000 to extend services along Messenger Drive, just off Kelsey Drive.

"Step number one is to put a plan in place," said O'Keefe. "And in order to do that, the first part of that step is to meet with people and just get their idea on what they'd like to see."

O'Keefe said some ideas that have already been discussed have been a playground, natural trails into the wetland area and possibly a recreation facility, such as a skateboard park.

He said the plan will be tailored to people who live in nearby neighbourhoods such as Kenmount Terrace, but the land will be open to everyone, with good transportation links to the area.

"Public transport won't be a problem," said O'Keefe. "Metrobus is just down the road."

The mayor said the city plans to open up the land relatively quickly, but it could take years before it is fully developed.