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Nestled in behind the Brookside Rinks and Community League building at 5320-143 Street is a busy and sprawling community park that is bursting with potential for improvement and upgrade. The park contains many beautiful mature trees and a large multi-use sports field. The play structure, which is used extensively by the 400 students at Brookside Elementary school as well as other community groups year round, is in need of an upgrade.
The Brookside Park Redevelopment Committee has been working hard since 2014 to lay the foundation of what will become the new Brookside Park. On January 21, 2016, our project took a big leap forward when we signed off on a Concept Plan designed in conjunction with the City of Edmonton.
In June 2015, the committee completed a Needs Assessment to get a clearer idea of what elements and enhancements our community desired in Brookside park. Feedback was collected from over 200 area residents, elementary school parents, students and teachers as well as neighbouring residents.
A few common themes emerged from the Needs Assessment, which helped our committee find direction when designing the Concept Plan. Residents and park users indicated there should be an area devoted to teens or older children. So, with the help of a Landscape Architect, we decided to add a Bike Park adjacent to the playground. The Bike Park will include bike bumps, a bridge and an approximately 1.5 km shale path.
We saw a desire for a covered structure that could make the park more accessible and provide shade to groups wanting to use the park as a gathering space. So, our concept plan includes a covered structure that will be located in between the community league building and playground.
We also saw a need for more benches and tables, additional garbage cans, better drainage, less sand and of course, updated playground equipment. We are excited that our Concept Plan addresses all of these elements and more!
The committee has been careful to create a concept plan which meets the needs of local residents and park users, yet also remains budget conscious. In working with the Landscape Architect and the Project Manager, we have designed a plan that allows us to preserve many of the existing park features. For example, we will be salvaging all of the concrete, preserving all of the trees, and working within the park’s existing footprint. These preservations will save us thousands of dollars!
It was a very eventful spring spent raising funds for the park. On May 28th we divided and conquered two spectacular events; A Night of Magic as well as our Spring Sale. Both of these events were filled with community fun and raised some great funds! We wish to extend our sincere gratitude to all of our community partners: Papa Murphy’s Riverbend, Safeway Riverbend, Tastebuds Restaurant, 4Cats Art Studio, and Mastermind Toys as well as everyone who volunteered and supported these events with your attendance and time. A big thank you also goes to No More Excuses x2 for donating funds raised from their Spring Sale to the park. These events, combined with our cash raffle, added up to over $4700 in funds raised! Thank you all, and congratulations to our cash raffle winners!
Door-to-Door Fundraising Campaign
Thank You Brookside!!! In June, we conducted a door-to-door fundraising campaign and raised over $8,000! In addition to generous financial contributions, we received words of encouragement, learned fascinating historical anecdotes, met neighbours who helped build the current park over 20 years ago and collected some cool ideas. Thank you to all donors for showing us that you care, and that this neighbourhood improvement is important to you. Thank you so much to all volunteers who generously donated their time and legs to walk around the neighbourhood going door to door. We couldn’t have done it without you. All funds raised for the Brookside Park Redevelopment are matched by the City of Edmonton, which makes for a $16,000 contribution from this campaign. If we missed you in June and you’d like to make a contribution, donations are still gratefully accepted.
In June 2016, we applied for two major grants; the Community Facilities Enhancement Project grant from the Province of Alberta and the Canada 150 Grant through the Government of Canada. We anxiously await the results of these applications and expect to find out if we are successful in a few weeks. We have applied for many other local grants as well and will optimistically wait for the results while continuing to apply for any new grants that fit our scope.
Papa Murphy’s Community Slice Program
School is back in and supper needs to be easy. Go to Papa Murphy’s Riverbend and say BROOKSIDE when you order up your take and bake pizza! Anyone can do it and 15% of your regular priced order will be automatically donated to Brookside Park’s Redevelopment. Plus, you don’t have to cook. Win Win!
A Taste of Riverbend – October 29th
Add A Taste of Riverbend to your calendar and start thinking about your costume! This fabulous adult only night out takes place on October 29th at Snow Valley and features Riverbend’s best in food, wine, neighbours and fun. Tickets go on sale this September and all proceeds raised from this event will go to Brookside Park. Stay tuned for more details.
If you or your business can support the park via prize donations, monetary contributions or a fundraising program, we would love to hear from you! We are also looking for creative minds to help us with each event. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for being a friend of Brookside Park!
The Brookside Park Project Committee:
Priya Nelson, Vanessa Kovacs, Mary Lou Sedgwick, Nancy Wendt and Don Lore