By Craig Westcott | The Shoreline
One area missing from Paradise’s proposed new recreation master plan is arts and culture, at least according to some residents who turned up for an overview of the plan last month, said councillor Paul Dinn.
“It was well received, but not without some suggestions,” Dinn said of the plan, which is being put together by an outside consulting company. “The plan is not finalized, it’s in the tweaking mode.”
Dinn said some people raised the need for more “intellectual” activities and the arts and culture sector. “They made a comment that it tends to be an add-on,” he said. “I guess that’s a little harsh, but it’s certainly not intended to be an add-on, it’s something that we try to put in there… Some of the other key points that came through in the discussion that night was better utilization of the pond and developing a strategy for use of the pond; they mentioned better cooperation between all parties involved in utilizing school space. Space was an issue raised by a couple there in terms of trying to get access to meeting spaces and places to hold their events. So that’s on the radar. Some were concerned that there is no implementation plan, but this was not intended to be the implementation plan.”
“It’s a strategy to identify the needs,” agreed Mayor Dan Bobbett, who had hoped to attend the session, but was out of town due to work commitments.
“Another interesting point was our plan talked to the oversupply of tot lots,” said Dinn. “We’ve had a lot of tot lots, and obviously you outgrow them in a neighbourhood. But there was one individual who raised the notion of developing some of these retaining ponds that we have that probably haven’t seen water in years.”
Dinn explained the thinking is that it might be possible to develop the retaining ponds as recreation space as long as it doesn’t involvement a big commitment to infrastructure and with the knowledge going in that they could be flooded in a once in a century storm scenario. “They noted the one out by McDonald’s (Restaurant),” he said.
“That one comes up a fair bit, because that’s a large one,” Mayor Bobbett acknowledged. “That’s for all of Elizabeth Park.”
“That’s right,” said Dinn, “and it’s been pretty dry for a long time – not saying that it’s going to remain that way, but it is a space that’s sitting there.”
The need for ATV trails was the other recreation issue raised at the public briefing session, Dinn added.
“So, the plan is a growing document,” said Dinn. “We’re nearing the end of it hopefully. They (the consultants) are going to tweak some of this. But those were some nice additions that we got. I don’t think there was very much, if any, negativity there. It was mostly positive comments.”