By Rob Vogt, Local Press Writer
The Town of Claresholm is looking at re-designing downtown Amundsen Park, and the public got their first look at concept designs last week.
The town hosted an open house at Claresholm Branch No. 41 of the Royal Canadian Legion on June 6, attracting about 30 citizens, town councillors and town staff.
Mayor Doug MacPherson opened the event by welcoming everyone and noting a number of groups have been brought together on an ad-hoc committee to discuss the re-design.
“It’s important we get this right,” he said, noting this plan will chart the course of the park for 40 years.
Moreover, the town wants input from the public.
“It’s important you come talk to us and tell us what you’re thinking,” he said.
Tara Van Dellen, the town’s development officer, said the vision for the park is to create a hub for activity that is an extension of the downtown core.
The committee is made up of representatives of user groups such as the Claresholm Lions Club; Kin Clubs of Claresholm; the town’s economic development committee; chamber of commerce; Claresholm Arts Society; and Claresholm and District Family and Community Support Services; as well as town councillors and staff.
“The community and the user groups are the experts,” Van Dellen said.
She described how the committee discussed uses and activities, and then narrowed down some themes.
Ultimately, when designing a public space, such as Amundsen Park, the committee wanted to create a strong sense of community; tame traffic; introduce new kinds of activities; bring new people to downtown; make children healthier, via new and improved play structures for all ages; improve safety and security by increasing lighting at the washrooms and pathways; providing a clean public restroom; and more.
Three concept plans were proposed, but Van Dellen stressed no one has to like all of one concept plan. Instead, they can pick and choose the elements they like from all three.
“We’ll take all the components and all the features of each and make one design,” she said.
The next steps, after the public has provided feedback, are the committee will review feedback; discuss budgets and costing; consider phasing and timing; explore partnership opportunities with community groups; and seek out grant application opportunities.
Anyone who wants to see the concept plans can visit www.claresholm.ca then click on “Meet your government” then “Town council” then “Open house”. There is also an opportunity to provide your feedback.