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Armstrong develops new park

This piece of property near downtown Armstrong will likely be called Huculak Park and, after consultant Christina Walkden finishes with some designs, will feature walking trails, checkers and some space for children under five.          - Photo submitted
This piece of property near downtown Armstrong will likely be called Huculak Park and, after consultant Christina Walkden finishes with some designs, will feature walking trails, checkers and some space for children under five.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Armstrong’s newest park will be a quiet space.

Following an open house on the property that likely will be known as Huculak Park, near Patterson Avenue and Willowdale Drive, consultant Christina Walkden has an idea of what the public would like to see in that space.

“We discussed a number of ideas, and there were some concerns about noise and safety, but the overall consensus is that the park be a quieter space with more meditative activities,” said Walkden, an Armstrong native who is in her second year of her masters degree program in landscape architecture at the University of Manitoba.

“There will be things like checkers, walking and space for small children under the age of five.”

Close to 30 people attended the open house under sunny skies and presented a variety of ideas for the site, donated to the City of Armstrong by the late Bernie Huculak. Ideas for the park included making sure the space has easy access for walkers and wheelchairs, given its proximity to a couple of seniors’ residences in the area.

Some people wanted a community garden aspect with some sort of garden trail system that connected to other trails in the community. There was talk of planting and interacting with plants as well as possibly constructing an amphitheatre or setting up theatre space where groups could host small performances.

Because Meighan Creek flows through the south side of the park, a riparian area has to be created.

“Part of the plan is to create a riparian restoration area along the creek to increase wildlife and fish habitat, and restore the creek bed to prevent erosion,” said Walkden. “The design will be integrated into the park as well.”

Walkden will now take the ideas and come up with a couple of different proposals. She plans on having community groups and individuals take part in the design process.

“I’ll do up a couple of proposals and get a feel for what is liked and what’s disliked,” she said. “Then we’ll come up with a plan working with the community and come back in the fall and winter to ask for more public feedback.”

Walkden became involved in the project when she returned home for the summer and was handing out resumés, looking for work. The city saw her background and asked if she was interested in acting as a consultant for the summer.

“I really became connected to the project,” said Walkden. “I’ve invested in it, the city and community have invested in it and I’m making it my thesis project for my masters.”

Bernie Huculak will be remembered for his donation of the land with some kind of memorial in the park.

“He was one of those individuals who would go around the town saying hello to everybody, asking businesses if they needed errands done,” said Walkden. “He was so about the community for the feedback I’ve been getting. This space becoming a community hub would be the best way to honour Bernie.”

Any community groups or individuals interested in the park project that have not contacted Walkden can do so by e-mailing her at cmwalkden@hotmail.com.

A Facebook page (Huculak Park) has also been set up for the project.

 

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