A Community Betterment Session was held by the CRDAC on May 30, 2023 with representatives from Associated Engineering in attendance to collect community input and feedback on the proposed concept plan for Wassasi Park. Three separate engagement sessions were held for elders, youth, and adults, throughout the day with approximately 40 attendees in total. During each session, the current park concept was presented and after a brief question and answer period, attendees were separated into groups to discuss and provide their feedback. Comments were primarily collected via drawing markups and discussion with facilitators from Associated Engineering.
The following is a record of the common themes we heard during the Community Betterment Session with regards to the overall park program and some of the more specific features like the playground and tenting sites. As we move into developing construction drawings for Wassasi Park, ideas and suggestions from residents will be considered.
What We Heard…
The park program was well received and questions were generally focused on security and how/when the park will be used. Some of the questions we heard include:
Will the park access be gated? Winter access for ice fishing?
Will the park be fenced to protect against bears?
Is there an opportunity for trailer parking?
Will there be water and power service connections?
Will the existing shelter be kept and incorporated into the design?
Will everything be vandalism-proof/will there be security or cameras?
Will local community members be hired to maintain the park?
Will there be a trailer or staff?
If there is overnight camping could a second washroom be added with showers?
Can picnic sites be named for founding families or plaques added to benches?
Many attendees expressed concern over the potential for vandalism and misuse of the park and would like to see some measures included for additional security. Programming of the park for overnight camping or use outside of daytime and evening hours was not preferred.
In addition to general support for the park development, we also received suggestions for other features and preferences to be considered in the design, including:
A fish cleaning/filleting station
More picnic tables near the playground and benches along the beach
Playground features like: rubber surfacing, obstacle course, rock climbing wall, monkey bars, climbing, swings, basketball court, and a big slide
A stage for performances
Bear-proof garbage and recycling bins
Cooking stoves at picnic sites to match existing
Second washroom (overnight/camping)
Showers in the washroom building(s)
More picnic sites instead of tenting (tenting is not preferred)
Furnishings and playground materials should deter vandalism
Design should consider fire-smart principles
The next step for the park design is to work with the CRDAC to finalize the program and incorporate any desired features identified through the community engagement. We will also undertake a topographic survey of the park site so that production of Detail Design drawings can get underway.