The city of Calgary is inviting Calgarians to weigh in on improvements and enhancements to Bowmont Park.
The changes, which include offleasharea boundaries, restoration work on the river’s edge and habitats along the river and a design development to integrate the former Klippert gravel pit into the existing park, will occur in the eastern portion of the park.
“Bowmont Park is one of the city’s most significant natural environment parks,” said Chris Manderson, parks urban conversation lead. “There’s no other park like it in the city and that’s why we’re undertaking these improvements to protect the natural integrity of the park.”
Participants at the May 2013 open house shared concerns around proposed changes to off-leash area boundaries in the park. Park visitors wanted the piece of land off of 40th Avenue retained as an off-leash area, along with the land adjacent to the river.
“We heard loud and clear from the public their preferences for off-leash areas in the park, so we decided to preserve the land off of 40th Ave as an off-leash area,” said Manderson.
The land adjacent to the river will have to become an on-leash area due to the conflict between sensitive natural habitats in the area. Parks is investigating the option of installing designated off-leash river access points along the riverbank so park visitors and their dogs can enjoy the water.
“One way to resolve this conflict, which is clearly evident along the river’s edge, would be to deny access to the river completely,” said Manderson. “We don’t think this is a good solution, so this is why we’re looking into these off-leash river access points.”
The other proposal Parks is looking into is removing the playground in the off-leash area, and redeveloping the other playground 250 metres away near the sports field.
“Removing the playground in the off-leash area would reduce dog/children interactions, which is a source of stress for some children and their families,” said Manderson. “The removal would also provide dogs more space to play freely. At the same time, we can redevelop the second playground making a better place for children to play.”
Once the playground is removed, there will be benches so dog owners and other park visitors have a place to sit and visit.
For more information about the improvements to Bowfort Park and to provide your feedback visit www.calgary.ca/bowmontparkimprovements.