Calgary

Bankview residents rally to turn vacant lots into temporary park

The Bankview Community Association is hoping to turn four vacant lots into a temporary park.

4 vacant lots being turned into park until property owner ready to develop

Residents look over plans for a Bankview greenspace known as Higgy's Bluff. (Mike Symington/CBC)

The Bankview Community Association is hoping to turn four vacant lots into a temporary park.

Organizer Chad Peters says the group already has permission to use a green space known as Higgy's Bluff at the corner of 14th Street and 24th Avenue S.W. in Calgary.

A couple of dozen people turned out Thursday to hear about the plan at what Peters called an exploratory meeting.

"We're talking to the general public to find out what do they feel is lacking in the community, what do they see for this as a potential and all that feedback will get used to come up with a design. Then we'll work with the community to try and put it into place."

The proposed park is close to cafes and eateries and Peters hopes it will provide a needed amenity for residents and benefit local businesses.

"Putting in some basic seating, a place where I can meet some friends, grab a small bite and just sit and relax with some benches and take advantage of the view and the area," he said.

Coun. Evan Woolley said he's on board with the idea.

"One of the wonderful things about community is that you can enable a whole lot of things, particularly around park space that is free or very inexpensive," he said.

"It builds community, makes our neighbourhoods safer, it makes our neighbourhoods more active and all of those wonderful things that can happen when you do grassroots community building."

Organizer Chad Peters says the group has permission to use a green space known as Higgy's Bluff at the corner of 14th Street and 24th Avenue S.W. (Mike Symington/CBC)

The land is private property, but Peters said the owner is on board with the idea.

"As long as we kept it clear this is a temporary thing and it will get developed into what he chooses down the road," he said.

"It's been great to have someone on board because that's often the obstacle you encounter, especially with private land. It's also hard in this city to find private land that hasn't been developed already in the inner-city."

Peters said the space is expected to be available for at least a year.

With files from Mike Symington

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