A preliminary layout concept of Vernon’s new city centre park. Bidding opportunities are open until Feb. 5, 2021. (City of Vernon photo)

A preliminary layout concept of Vernon’s new city centre park. Bidding opportunities are open until Feb. 5, 2021. (City of Vernon photo)

Bidding open for design of Vernon’s city centre park

City requests proposals for design services after more than 1,000 residents submit feedback

The City of Vernon is inviting bidders to propose a design for a much-discussed downtown park next to the proposed site for a new cultural centre.

According to a public tender published Friday, Jan. 15, the city is looking to procure a landscape architect team to design and provide consulting services for the proposed park in the City Centre neighbourhood on the same block as the Visitor Centre.

“The city’s motto of ‘Activate Life’ is influenced by the outdoor lifestyle and exceptional recreational opportunities on the city’s doorstep throughout the four distinctive seasons of our climate, including moderate snowy winters and hot, dry summers,” the tender package reads.

City council budgeted for the urban park last year. The park would cover an entire city block of about 2.5 acres.

“This new park will become an important community space and gathering hub within the City Centre. The site is located beside the Polson Greenway, a multi-use trail which ultimately connects to the North Okanagan Rail Trail,” reads the tender package.

The park is located on “a site of significant community importance,” according to the tender. “It is a short walking distance from the centre of the City’s downtown core, near the site of a future cultural centre, one block from City Hall, and within a vibrant and unique neighbourhood in one of the oldest areas of Vernon.”

The bidding opportunity closes on Feb. 5. The rest of the intended timeline, as laid out in the tender notice, is to have the consulting contract awarded by the end of February, start-up and design concepts completed by the end of March, design development between April and July and to start construction by September 2021.

READ MORE: Vernon Cultural centre land sale negotiations in the works

READ MORE: Funding plan approved for downtown Vernon cultural centre

The project completion date is planned for November 2021.

The construction budget is listed at approximately $1.25 million, while the budget for the park design and consulting is $75,000 to $125,000.

City staff will review and select their preferred concept after a forthcoming council meeting, where they will also have the chance to make feedback or amendments.

The public tender takes into account public feedback that was collected in July 2020. More than 1,000 residents responded to a survey which included the park’s preliminary layout concepts and invited residents to highlight their favourite features.

More than 900 of the respondents live in Vernon, and 345 indicated they live within a 10-minute walk of the proposed park.

The responses indicated strong support for greenery, according to the tender package; tree shade, water features, playgrounds, family activity areas and naturalized open space were all highly supported.

Survey participants were also asked to suggest a possible name for the park, with popular word answers including “city,” “civic” and “central.”

Many respondents indicated a preference for a memorial or historical name such as Larry Kwong, who grew up and played organized hockey in Vernon and became the first non-Caucasian to play in the National Hockey League in 1948. There was also a desire for input from local Indigenous leaders.

“Administration will reach out to Okanagan Indian Band for input and will bring forward a list of possible park names to council in accordance with the City’s Park Naming Policy,” the tender package reads.

A few more loose ends will need to be tied up before the project can proceed. A privately owned neighbouring property will need to be acquired — the owner, it is noted, has been contacted. A location for a proposed 16-stall parking lot will also need to be finalized, as well as curb, boulevard and road design along 31st Street and 37th Avenue.

Much of the discussion around the proposed park has been tethered to a parallel proposal for the new Greater Vernon Cultural Centre, which is to be located in the same area, and which council agreed on a 20 per cent size-reduction last August to cut down on costs.

According to the tender, the final park design must include at a minimum:

  • A least one structure for shelter from weather
  • Areas of shade
  • Areas for children
  • Multi-generational design elements
  • Hardscape pathways
  • Naturalized landscape areas for informal recreational activity
  • Outdoor seating
  • Limited on-site parking

READ MORE: Public input sought on new park in Vernon city centre

READ MORE: Square footage may be revisited for Vernon cultural centre

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Okanagan-Shuswap real estate market continues hot start to 2021

Sales in February were up more than 100 per cent over last year, reports the Association of Interior Realtors

Const. Kevin Fuglewicz is the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP’s newest member of its Downtown Enforcement Unit. (Vernon North Okanagan RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP add new downtown unit member

Const. Kevin Fuglewicz joins Downtown Enforcement Unit for rural north operations

The District of Lake Country has placed load restrictions on city roads due to early warming weather. (Black Press file photo)
Load restrictions set on Lake Country roads

A 70 per cent axle weight restriction has been implemented to protect roads during warming weather

Okanagan high school girls volleyball players Georgia MacLean of Lake Country’s George Elliot Secondary (from left), Olivia Pederson of Vernon Christian School, Kassidy Schaper-Kotter of Vernon Secondary and Makenna Lane from W.L. Seaton Secondary have signed to play college volleyball with Abbotsford’s Columbia Bible College. (File photos)
Fraser Valley college inks quartet of Okanagan recruits

Columbia Bible College Bearcats in Abbotsford sign four players to women’s volleyball squad

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
EDITORIAL: Heightened tension over face masks

Incidents of anger and conflicts over mandated masks happening too frequently

John Hordyk said it isn’t fair to just look at COVID-19 deaths as many survivors are experiencing long-term impacts, himself included. (Photo by Rachel Muise)
Not getting better: Revelstoke man diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome

‘I hope the damage isn’t long term, but it could be permanent’

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki responded to BC Housing minster David Eby’s remarks that the city has put themselves at risk of creating a tent city Wednesday, March 3, 2020. (Western News file photo)
Penticton mayor calls out BC Housing minister for ‘irresponsible fear-mongering’

Council recently rejected BC Housing’s request to keep a winter shelter open longer than first planned

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read