Jensen Park set to re-open after $300,000 redevelopment
Thursday, Jun 13, 2013 11:13 am
Airdrie’s oldest park has a new face-lift that opens up the park and makes it more inviting, said manager of the City’s parks and public works department Arichie Lang.
“We’ve elevated the importance of Jensen Park from being a small neighbourhood park to a historically significant regional park,” Lang said.
The park now features a 1930s-style gazebo, a western themed playground, new pathways with low ambient lighting, an improved snow-banked ice rink, perennial gardens and 10 bronze plaques throughout the park explaining different aspects of the city’s past, including how Airdrie got its name and the importance of the railroad to development and growth.
“What the park is really about is the history of the city of Airdrie,” Lang said.
The park has had a long history itself, and was a racetrack for horse racing in the 1940s, a field where Sports Days took place and a splash park. More recently the park serves as the home of the Plainsmen Arena and is the new site for the Airdrie Farmer’s Market every Wednesday afternoon throughout the summer.
“Although the park has evolved with the times, one thing has remained the same, it’s where the community comes together,” Lang said.
He also mentioned that several features from the old park have remained in the upgrade, including the flag pole, which has been restored and some of the old shrubbery has be transplanted to other areas in the park to create a more open sightline across the entire park.
The snow-banked ice rink has been improved and will serve as an open play area in the summer for relaxing picnics and fun games of Frisbee.
The park is named after the late Knud and Lilly Jensen and features a plaque on a large stone standing in front of the playground that reads, “Jensen Park dedicated in memory of Knud.”
Kund and Lilly settled in Airdire in 1938 and Kund served on the Village Council for almost 10 years. Lilly was also involved in the community throughout her life. The Jensen family donated the land for the park to the City more then 50 years ago.
The City is hosting an afternoon tea in the park on June 14, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and there will be a formal ceremony with Mayor Peter Brown at 2 p.m.
Members of the Jensen family will also be on hand to help mark the occasion.
“Everyone is welcome to come and rediscover this gem in the heart of Airdrie and learn more about out city’s past,” Lang said.
The redevelopment cost $300,000 and was funded by provincial grants along with community and corporate fundraising efforts and took about a year to complete.