LETHBRIDGE – Despite a long and wet winter delaying work, the new Legacy Park in North Lethbridge is on track to be open to the public by the summer.
Legacy Park will serve as a major community park similar to Henderson Lake Park and Nicholas Sheran and is located immediately north of the Uplands Community at 400 Blackwolf Blvd.
David Ellis, Parks Manager for the City of Lethbridge, says they’re excited to be winding this down.
“We expect that in four or five weeks, by July 1st or so, we should be able to take the construction fence down and let the public in to see what the park looks like,” Ellis said.
Ellis acknowledged they’d probably be further along if not for the conditions during winter.
“It definitely affected the park, because first of all, it came sooner than we would’ve liked. The snow came earlier and stayed so that shut us down a few weeks earlier than we wanted too last fall. It was slow getting going again this spring but they’re out there now working,” Ellis added.
Right now, Ellis says there’s new grass starting to grow on three-quarters of the park.
“There’s a bit of irrigation left to install, a little bit of land forming left and then seeding that. Then we just have to wait for the grass to grow.”
The City anticipates taking the construction fence surrounding the park down when it’s no longer a construction zone and then letting people into the park with a caveat.
“We’re going to ask them not to use the grass until the new seeds establish,” Ellis continued. “But the pathways, the playgrounds, the tennis courts, the skate park and the fitness equipment will all be ready to go as soon as we finish up construction.”
Legacy Park will also differ from the other parks in the city mostly because of the style.
“We went with a plaza style which is a little more spread out, and we did that because it’s in the middle of the park. I’m not a skateboarder but I understand it still got the features that are exciting and fun. So, we’re anxious to get that open and let people go try it but right now they’re still finishing up the landscaping around it,” Ellis said.
The City partnered with the Lethbridge Skateboard Association to help design it, and Ellis believes they got what they were looking for.
Another part of the park Ellis says people are excited about is the playground and fitness area.
“It’s the first one in Canada, and I know other playground companies are kind of jumping on board, but we got the first one in the country to be installed,” he continued. “That’s going to be in the same area as the skate park, so we’re expecting it to be a hit and we’re excited to get it open for use.”
While the City hasn’t picked a date yet for a grand opening, Ellis says instead of inviting 1,000 people into the park to trample the grass they’re going to a series of clinics or workshops.
“We’ll touch on how to do different things in the park. We’ll look at some of the features that can be used when the park opens, the things that are on hard surfaces like the playground, the fitness equipment and the paths,” Ellis stated.
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