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CBT gives $450,000 for Millennium Park expansion

City of Castlegar
By City of Castlegar
August 12th, 2015

Columbia Basin Trust has announced a $450,000 grant to support the City of Castlegar’s Millennium Park Phase 2 Project. The Phase 2 Project includes: Off-leash Dog Park; Active Recreation court area including two Beach Volley Ball courts; Tennis/Pickle Ball Court; improved access, parking and drop off areas that will service the off-leash dog park, bike skills park and habitat compensation area (secondary beach).

The $450,000 will be combined with the City’s previously budgeted $125,000 for the off-leash dog park and an additional $125,000 from the Castlegar and Area Regional District Recreation Commission for a total of $700,000 for the park’s Phase 2 projects. 

Mayor Lawrence Chernoff said “We are very excited to move forward with these additional projects for Millennium Park. On behalf of Council and area residents, we would like to thank Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and Central Kootenay Regional District Area Directors Andy Davidoff and Rick Smith for their support for this project. We believe strongly in cooperative partnerships with our adjacent regional directors. We expect to begin these projects this year with completion in 2016. The Phase 2 Park projects will be a great addition to our regionally oriented Millennium Park.”

Background

In 2010, the City undertook a master park planning process for the Millennium Park/Pathway area. An important component of creating the master plan was to obtain community input. To this regard, the Millennium Park master plan involved public involvement with participation from City of Castlegar staff, area residents, community user groups and other stakeholders in the community carried out over a period of six months. The City maintained a website that posted the results of the public workshops and solicited feedback from the community.

Through the feedback and planning sessions the City and its consultants completed a final master park plan. The plan identified several nodes that when combined provided basin residents with active and passive recreational opportunities and introduced new places for special events programming, expansion of sports, and major connections to the river and shoreline.

The north area of the park is considered the key highlight and regional destination point within the park. The major attraction of this node is the Millennium Ponds and picnic area located at the riverfront. This major water feature offers water based recreational area for residents and visitors with a beach, splash zone and swimming. This area is considered the center and heart of the park. The plan also identified an expanded sports area with volleyball/basketball courts, community green gym, and an additional regulation soccer field, warm up areas, change room with washrooms and seasonal concession. This area is intended to attract and host City-wide and large regional sports tournaments and events.

In a relatively short period of time, the City and its regional partners have been able to  advance and complete a number of the projects identified: 

1. The Millennium Ponds were completed in 2014 with a total cost of approximately $1.8 million; 2. The green gym was completed by the Castlegar Rotary groups with support from the City; 3. The Celgar Pavilion, which will meet the goal of having a covered picnic and concession area is currently under construction and scheduled to officially opened this summer of 2015; 4. The first phase of parking improvements were completed by the City in 2014; 5. A habitat compensation area (secondary beach) was substantially completed in 2014 with some finishing elements remaining; and, 6. The proposed off-leash dog park was rough graded in 2014. The Bike Skills park is currently under construction by a volunteer group.

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