The park on Wharf Street hasn’t officially been named.

Plenty of praise for new Hammond park

Eric Phillips suggests new park should be named after longtime resident Richard Tocher

People in the historic neighbourhood of Hammond have a place to sit and relax and enjoy the mighty Fraser River, now that Wharf Street Park is finished and open.

It’s been a long haul, said Eric Phillips, past president of the Port Hammond Community Association, which asked for the park for a decade.

“It’s quite nice. They did a good job on it,” he said.

The park is located along Wharf Street in a residential area and has a winding pathway and sitting area, as well as access to the Fraser River.

It’s that river access that bothers Phillips, though. He’s concerned that small children could venture too close to the water and get swept away. He wants a barrier of some kind to at least keep small kids away from the water.

“Not everybody is responsible looking after their own child.”

Sylvia Pendle, with Maple Ridge’s parks planning and development, said the site is designed to create natural barriers between it and the river, making it difficult for young children to reach the water.

There’s only a small portion of the park that accesses the river.

The new park is a hit on the Hammond Neighbours Facebook page.

“They totally got it right on the stumps, sand, rocks,” said Lara Cooley.

That’s the first thing her child went to and would have played there for quite a while.

Dan Airth called the park a “beautiful addition to lower Hammond,” but could improve its access for those with mobility challenges.

Pendle said the park hasn’t officially been named. That will take place in the next several weeks, as council considers suggestions from the park steering committee.

“We’re working towards another name that’s more appropriate.”

Phillips would like to see the park named after longtime Hammond resident Richard Tocher.

The total project, on about an acre of district-owned land, cost less than $150,000. It’s considered a neighbourhood park, which local people can access within five minutes walk.

Phillips added the main road at the edge of Hammond, Maple Crescent, still needs improving and traffic-calming measures installed.

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