Armstrong unveils plans for Huculak Park

The final plan for park bearing Bernie Huculak's name on his former property near Armstrong’s downtown core has been unveiled.

Uncle Bernie would be astonished by the fuss being made by the City of Armstrong over his property.

On what would have been Bernie Huculak’s 82nd birthday Monday, the final plan for the park bearing his name on his former property near Armstrong’s downtown core was unveiled.

“He was one of the most unassuming, gentle souls but he would be astounded,” said Terry Macfarlane, Huculak’s niece, blinking back tears following the presentation of the park.

“What a lovely gift for him to be acknowledged by the city that he called home.

“You couldn’t find a more sweet, kind person to bless as he’s being blessed with the namesake Huculak Park.”

After his passing, Huculak’s property was purchased by the city and Kindale Development Association donated a piece of their neighbouring property so that a downtown park could be created.

Enter Christina Walkden.

The University of Manitoba landscape architecture student was hired by the city to come up with a design for the proposed Huculak Park.

Following several public consultations, Walkden presented her final design Monday.

“The final design incorporates a boardwalk, riparian area along Meighan Creek, foothills, an orchard and a transition area into the fields,” said Walkden.

Boards will be set up along the pathways that could be purchased by community residents or businesses, which would have their names inscribed on the boards.

The boards could also house stories about Armstrong’s history.

Washrooms will be included as will drinking fountains which will be handicap accessible.

Seating will be arranged throughout the park, which is located on Paterson, Okanagan and Willowdale Avenues.

“There are several access points to the park, which promotes a feeling of safety and will increase the uses in the park,” said Walkden.

Council members were pleased with Walkden’s effort.

“This is awesome,” said Coun. John Trainor.

Now, the city will take a materials list provided by Walkden and review it with staff and their engineering firm.

“We’ll see what kind of costs are associated with developing the park and we’ll look at phasing it in,” said Mayor Chris Pieper.

“We’ll also see if this creates opportunities for local groups in the community to take on parts of the project.”