No home for Pitt centennial garden

Parks department can’t find appropriate site to mark 100 years

The parks department can’t find a home in Pitt Meadows for a garden to mark the city’s centennial and memorialize loved ones.

Originally slated for the Waterfront Commons Park in South Bonson, plans were put on hold in February after the project was rejected by neighbours.

Parks staff have investigated alternative sites, but found none were suitable.

“Staff have determined that any opportunities for this project on another site are very limited in that they are unsuitable to accommodate the original objectives for the garden,” said manager of parks planning and development Bruce McLeod.

He suggested council conduct another round of “broader” community consultation in Osprey Village.

The budget for the project is $130,000, with $65,000 coming from the city and the rest from  grants.

The memorial garden was designed to be 7.5 metres in diameter and around 10.5 metres in length, and feature 10-centimetre by 10-centimetre granite markers engraved with a name and date.

The conceptual design for the garden included a space for public art and parks staff said it could also feature “poetry, verses with uplifting sentiments or artwork” within the plaza area.

Residents opposed to the park project considered it an unnecessary taxpayer expense, but also worried that vandals and vagrants would find the location attractive.

Parks staff searched throughout the city for an alternative location. Harris Road Park, Spirit Square, MacLean Park and a spot under the Pitt River Bridge were among those considered.

Council had proposed relocating the garden to Airport Way and Bonson Road, a location that’s already slated for another “natural” park project, but staff believe the centennial garden concept would be too much of a contrast for that site.

Mayor Deb Walters believes the timing of the last public consultation may have been problematic for some residents as it took place at the end of December and early January, when people were busy with the holidays.

Walters said she has since spoken to several residents and business in Osprey Village who told her they were not aware there was public consultation and would have liked to comment.

The city has yet to hear if it has qualified for a grant, as the project will have to be scaled back if the application fails.

The mayor would like the project to proceed.

“I do believe that a park is a worthy legacy centennial project.”


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