Park amenities, trails and healthy forests were the top priorities for Cumberland residents in connection with Solport Park plans.
The park, itself, is one of the developments from a recent phase of the Coal Valley Estates subdivision, and the village started seeking input about plans for the park in 2020. It released the results in mid-May as an update.
The property for the park was transferred to the village as phase seven of the subdivision for Coal Valley.
In October 2020, village staff developed an online survey, sent notices to homes in surrounding areas and hosted a couple of public events at the entrance to the park to hear from the public. It received more than 100 survey responses while about residents stopped by each of the pop-up events.
The top three items were: making improvements to the trail network; adding park amenities; and managing the nearby forest land.
The park amenities cited included a natural playground, a pump track and swing set.
“Infrastructure for small children was identified as a key priority for park amenities,” the village said in a recent newsletter post.
Other provisions mentioned included ways of dealing with dog waste and garbage.
As far as the trails, people suggested a multi-use pathway connection, an accessible trail linked to the Penrith Avenue extension and a loop trail in the upper portion of the park.
Finally, people highlighted the need for management in the park to foster and protect the health of the forest land for the future.
“A detailed park design will be developed in the latter part of 2022 with park improvements to proceed in future years as council-approved budgets allow,” the report notes.
For now, the village is starting forest management and fire abatement work. Trail closures will be in effect through the park during work.
The village has made the full report of the public engagement process available on its website at cumberland.ca. Search “Solport Park” for the May 17 entry.