New Brunswick

Fredericton looking for input into future of 2 city parks

The City of Fredericton is hosting two workshops this week to help develop a plan for two of the city’s most popular parks.

Parking and pickleball are 2 ideas being explored as Fredericton explores options for Carleton, Wilmot parks

The new splash pad in Wilmot Park is currently under construction. It is just one of the many changes coming to two Fredericton parks. (CBC)

The City of Fredericton is hosting two workshops this week to help develop a plan for two of the city's most popular parks.

On Monday evening, members of the public gathered to brainstorm ideas on how to develop or preserve Wilmot Park.

A similar event will take place for Carleton Park on Thursday evening.

Jim Scott is a landscape architect with Trace Planning & Design, the firm contracted to plan for the parks' futures.

"I think the heritage of [Wilmot] Park's important. That's probably the biggest thing," said Scott.

Jim Scott, a landscape architect with Trace Planning & Design, will be working with community members to come up with a plan for Wilmot and Carleton parks. (CBC)

"Probably the biggest thing that is talked about is the idea of parking. We have this beautiful park and is parking the right thing that we should expand in the park or can we look at other sites close by?"

Wilmot Park's splash pad is currently being rebuilt in time for next summer.

Scott said that upgrade will attract more people and require more parking too.

Pickleball

Wilmot Park has been a public park for more than 100 years. Fredericton residents are now being asked to come up with a plan that will be implemented over the next 25 years. (CBC)
Nancy Roach, who lives opposite the park, said she agrees that parking is an issue that needs to be tackled.

Roach also said she believes the city should explore the idea of more activity options for older residents, such as pickleball courts.

Pickleball is a hybrid racquet sport, played on courts smaller than tennis courts.

"People of my age can continue to be engaged in a racquet sport that's probably less hard on the joints than tennis might be," said Roach.

"But again one has to consider that really carefully in terms of using up green space."

The Stepping Stone Senior Centre and the Fredericton Lawn Bowling Club are currently side-by-side at the south end of the park.

Community garden

Madeleine Berrevoets, the co-chair of New Brunswick Community Harvest Gardens, said there is strong interest in a community garden located on Fredericton's south side. (CBC)
Some of those who took part in the workshop think part of the park could be set aside for a community garden.

Madeleine Berrevoet, a co-chair of New Brunswick Community Harvest Gardens, said there is a huge demand for a community garden in the area.

"We have our members bombarding us all the time with calls and emails asking for a garden on the south side," said Berrevoets.

"We've been trying to work with the city for six years now to get a garden on the south side and with these park improvement plans, this is what we've been told to show up to."

Berrevoets said she believes skeptics are won over whenever a community garden is set up.

"People are just a little but cringy about change, and then when it happens, they're just so happy that it's there, and it really grows on them, and it becomes part of their city," said Berrevoets.

Carleton Park

A public workshop on the future of Carleton Park will take place at Picaroon’s Brewery, on Union Street, on Thursday evening. (CBC)
A similar public workshop on the future of Carleton Park will be held at Picaroon's Brewery on Union Street on June 16 at 6:00 p.m.

After that, Scott said the information will be used to develop a plan that will again be presented to the public and city council.

Scott said that will likely happen sometime in September.

Once approved, the plans will be implemented in stages over the next 25 years.

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