Benches with dedication plaques were such a popular donation along the dikes in Pitt Meadows that city council was forced to say “no more.”
There were so many benches on the city’s extensive system of dikes – which is popular with cyclists, walkers and riders – that they were interfering with routine maintenance.
There has been a moratorium on dike bench donations since 2013, councillors heard at their April 27 meeting, and it continues.
So council approved revisions to the Dike Bench Policy, including renaming it the Park Amenity Donation Program. With the new policy, staff will encourage donations on other city lands, and of more than just benches – now adding trees, picnic tables and more.
City manager of parks, recreation and culture Carleen McDowell said staff feel it is important to have a policy that allows for donations that can be placed throughout the city. The donations are meant to cover all costs of the new amenity installation, as well as a plaque.
The costs of some of these donations are: Trees $1,000, park benches $2,500, concrete picnic tables $4,500, concrete outdoor Foosball $5,500 and concrete outdoor table tennis $11,000. They are still getting a price for covered picnic tables.
Donors purchase the amenity and select a location, and the city maintains and repairs them as needed.
“We do have a lot of great parks and trails and facilities in our community that could utilize donations,” said McDowell.
These donations will generally expire after a 10-year cycle, at which time the donors will be contacted to determine their wishes. Donations may need to be replaced.
She noted there is a waiting list of 11 people who wanted to donate benches.
“We don’t have a cemetery here, so it’s really important to have a space where we can honour our loves ones through a bench or a tree to sit under,” said Coun. Tracy Miyashita.
The city policy clarifies that donated amenities are not intended as memorials, and do not give the right for the scattering or interment of cremated remains, nor the placement of objects on or beside the amenity.
Dike benches may only be placed on the dikes as a replacement to an existing bench at pre-determined locations as indicated on the dike bench location map – at 200m intervals.
However, the city is looking at new locations for park benches in Shoreline Park.
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