July 17th, 2024

Funding secured for new play space at Galt Gardens


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on June 9, 2022.

Herald photo by Al Beeber A space north of the Rotary fountain in Galt Gardens will become a new accessible and inclusive playground space thanks to a $375,000 grant from the federal government.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The City of Lethbridge is making Galt Gardens more family-friendly with the construction of a new play space.
With a $375,000 grant from the federal government’s Canada Community Revitalization Fund, the City is working with community partners to design and develop a space just north of the Rotary Fountain that will be accessible and inclusive.
Urban Revitalization manager Andrew Malcolm announced the project Wednesday in Galt Gardens. The CCRF is a two-year, $500 million infrastructure initiative designed to support Canadian communities with projects that revitalize main streets and downtown cores as well as creating green spaces and reinventing outdoor spaces.
Projects have to be completed by March 2023, said Malcolm, and construction is expected to start in late summer.
The area designated for the play space is bordered by three sidewalks and consists of a large open grassy area.
The project has an approved budget of $500,000 with the City putting in $125,000 of that.
“We’re incredibly excited to build off the synergies of the Rotary Fountain, the 3 Avenue reconstruction, the Festival Square work, Casa and the impending SAAG renovation,” said Malcolm.
Malcolm said the space will “bring a whole new level of vibrancy, family activity and economic and business prosperity.”
The city’s community partners include the Allied Arts Council, SAAG, the downtown BRZ, Heart of the City committee and Lethbridge Plays and the Lethbridge rotary clubs.
The City has worked with AAC and Casa as well as SAAG “based on knowing their children’s programs would access this space so they’ve been integral in terms of early design and feedback as to what those children might be looking for in a space,” said Malcolm.
The space will have no traditional playground structures for kids to climb on. Instead there will be a rubber surface with some rolling terrain to add dynamics plus accessible equipment such as roller slides, swings built for all abilities and a sensory garden with different types of ground textures, plant materials and sounds so people with auditory and different challenges can enjoy the space, said Malcolm.
There is no plan to increase security at the park with Galt Gardens having its own, said Malcolm.
Through the design process, crime prevention through environmental design “has been top of mind,” said Malcolm, with the playground having no hidden spaces and a flat smooth surface so materials can be easily identified and picked up.
“We are really hoping that this addition of an amenity and all the people that will come and enjoy it will lend itself to a safer and more vibrant environment,” he added.
The Galt Gardens master plan done several years ago, which had expensive public engagement, showed a play space was a top priority with families, he said.
“Its taken some time to get there but thanks to this grant funding, we’re really excited to be adding this amenity,” said Malcolm, adding the synergy with the fountain was determined to be the best place for it.

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Citi Zen

The city will definitely need to hire someone to sweep the play area every morning for needles. Ongoing cost to the taxpayer.