New Brunswick

Parks for all: Fredericton asks public what Odell and Killarney Lake need

The City of Fredericton wants to hear how residents would change Odell Park and Killarney Lake Park, but designating areas for different activities has already been identified as important.

Designating different park areas for specific activities is considered a priority, architect says

Fredericton's popular Odell Park. (Google)

The City of Fredericton wants to hear how residents would change Odell Park and Killarney Lake Park, but designating areas for certain activities has already been identified as important.

Jim Scott, a landscape architect with Trace Planning and Design, will run the public consultations planned for the end of June.

There will be two sessions, one on each side of the river.

​"The notion is to develop a long-term vision for the parks that, as the city goes through any changes or any slight modifications to the parks, they have a vision they can address those changes to," Scott said.

The goal is to refine the uses of the two parks to make them better for everyone, he said, and there have been three sets of consultations already.

"For example, in Odell Park, we met some kids at Connaught Street School. They talked a lot about having great activities in there that really tightened up some of the play areas and made it a little more family-friendly.

There has been debate in Fredericton over whether Odell Park and Killarney Lake Park should serve as peaceful places or recreation spots. (City of Fredericton)

The city would also like to see better definition of the role of cyclists, including people on mountain bikers and fat bikes, and how they might work with conservation efforts.

Recently, there have been heated debates about how the parks should be used, whether they should be quiet sanctuaries away from the modern pace of life or an oasis for bicyclists and disc golf lovers.

Scott said the problem that needs to be addressed is zoning, designating areas for different activities so everyone can use it how they wish.

How to effectively do that, Scott said, will take shape at the consultation sessions.

"I think usually when everybody sits around the same table and talk about what it is that they want to do in the park, these things gets resolved quite quickly."

Getting feedback

Scott said there will be two more sessions with schoolchildren, in addition to the larger public sessions this month.

The planners will also spend time in each park throughout the summer, talking to people about how they use the areas.

website provides information and a survey for people to provide feedback. People can even enter a photo contest and give input that way.

"We want you to go out in the parks, show us your favourite places, tell us what you do there," Scott said.

While he has no doubt consultations will go on into the fall, Scott said a report will be written near the end of summer and presented to council on public input and recommendations so far.

"When we do present the report to council, there will be a series of recommendations for each one of the parks," he said.

With files from Information Morning