Fredericton unveils early plan for new neighbourhood park

The City of Fredericton has released a first draft of its plan for a new neighbourhood park in High Point Ridge that includes a play structure, a small splash pad and an open green space.

Residents said they wanted a place for kids to play, some open area and a sports court

This aerial shot shows some of the five acres of land set aside for the High Point Ridge park. (Submitted by the City of Fredericton)

The City of Fredericton has released a first draft of its plan for a new neighbourhood park in High Point Ridge that includes a play structure, a small splash pad and an open green space.

The plan stems from a public meeting held in the neighbourhood in September. More than 50 people, young and old, showed up for that meeting.

The park will need to cater to a variety of needs, as the neighbourhood includes young families, retired people and the Shannex Parkland retirement campus. 

Henri Mallet, the city councillor for the area, said it was really encouraging to see the community come together to discuss the park plans. 

"The kids were thinking about the elderly, the retired couple was thinking about the young family. It was neat to see that everyone was trying to figure out a park that worked for everybody," said Mallet. 

Coun. Henri Mallet has been pushing for a park in the neighbourhood since he was elected to city council. (Philip Drost/CBC)

Some of the ideas are geared toward younger families, like a play structure that would be for all ages, shade around that play structure and a small splash pad. 

The plan also includes a hard surface for sports, a central open green space, picnic tables and accessible paved trails along with some unpaved nature trails.

Mallet said he hopes to build those features while maintaining the nature in the park.

"People want it remain like a nature type of park, and we'll keep as many trees as possible, have some trails and places where you can just go and enjoy nature," said Mallet. 

Next steps

The city has set aside about five acres for the park, which is currently forested land. 

It earmarked a little less than $450,000 in its 2019 budget for new parks, which will include the park in High Point Ridge and a park south of Bishop Drive. 

The city has more than five acres of land it plans on using for the new park. (Submitted by Henri Mallet)

"I think all of council realized how important that park is for that area. They're obviously under serviced on the green space side of things," said Mallet. 

The city is now seeking input on the first draft of the park. It has a survey up online for residents to give further input on the plans, and the city will present the next draft of the plan in January. 

"It's not the city's park, it's really a neighbourhood park," he said. "So we want to get it right for the citizens of that area, so we'll be continuing to engage them to get their input until we put the first shovel in the ground."

About the Author

Philip Drost

Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.

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