City hosts second open house for Jensen Park
About 20 people attended an open house hosted by Airdrie’s parks department, to garner feedback about a Jensen Park redesign, May 2.
The event was a follow up to a March meeting, during which representatives took suggestions about the plan from area residents and went back to the drawing board.
Wayne Intveld, an eight-year resident of Airdrie, stopped by the open house to check out the new plans.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what the park will look like,” Intveld said. “I live right close to it, so it will be nice to see some changes happen.
“The plans look good. By the looks of it, they’re going to open it up and create some more space, which will be great.”
Archie Lang, operations manager of Airdrie parks, said that the open house was well attended and City Staff received a lot of productive feedback.
“It went very well, people approached the whole open house in a very positive fashion and actually had some great ideas to offer,” he said. “We showed people the original two concepts that were shown at the first open house. Then we showed what the comments were, and then we presented the new plan based on those comments so that people could see that their input is being listened to.
“No one had any real terrible concerns with it, and any problems or tweaks that we did hear have been taken into consideration now.”
Lang said that after the first open house, people displayed an interest in preserving more of the older trees and shrubbery in the park.
“We are preserving all of the older trees, and we will also be keeping as much of the existing shrubbery as possible,” he said.
“We’re going to keep the older shrubbery, like the lilac bushes, because they really speak to the character of the park.”
Lang said the City also made changes to the proposed fencing, and will be putting in a four-foot black chain link fence with lots of breaks for easy entrance into the park. They will also be adding some pathway entrances.
A new western-themed playground will be one of the main focuses of the park, and a number of different concept drawings were available at the open house. Visitors were given stickers, and could choose which parts of the playground they thought would be best suited for the park. They could also choose the type of perennials.
“We decided to make it a bit interactive and let people pick what they liked,” Lang said. “People were very well engaged and had lots of suggestions.”
One thing that still raised concerns from residents was the fact that the existing spray park would be removed, but not replaced. However, Lang said that most people understood that building and maintaining a spray park is costly.
“Although they’re going to miss having it, people seemed to agree that it’s reasonable to think that we can have one, really nice spray park in our city, which is what we are in the process of building out at Chinook Winds,” he said. “They’re going to feel a loss, but they were understanding, and said that everything else we’re doing in the park is going to be great.”
Lang said he is looking forward to moving ahead with the plans, adding the redesign of the park will be a good for the community.
“This park is heading toward being a very important and historically interpretive part of the city,” he said.
Lang said that after the changes to the plan are made, he will take the final report to council for approval. He said the City is expecting the park to be completed by October.