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More projects at Idlewild Park are underway

City staff and community groups are working to improve and upgrade park amenities

A number of projects at Idlewild Park are underway that are spearheaded by community groups and city staff.

The park, which has undergone a redevelopment since the dam structure was replaced, includes many new and updated amenities.

Projects set for completion this year include a nine-hole disc golf course in partnership with the East Kootenay Disc Golf Club, the Idlewild Ridge Trail project with support from the Cranbrook Rotary Club and JCI Kootenay, as well as the reconstruction of the Firefighters Gazebo by the Cranbrook Professional Fire Fighters Local 1253.

Additional projects inlcude a bench art installation by Paul Reimer funded by the Columbia Basin Trust Public Art Grant, ongoing habitat restoration from the Columbia Outdoor School and the replacement of the single zip line, with a new double track zipline funded by the Cranbrook Rotary Club and Western Financial Group.

Picnic tables, benches and barbecue areas are also set to see upgrades, according to the city.

“The importance of this park to our residents and partners is evident in how quickly this project has moved forward from the master planning process. What we are achieving in three years, would normally have been part of a five to ten-year plan,” says Chris New, Director of Corporate Wide Initiatives.

The dam was replaced with a new concrete structure in 2017, and the surrounding park space has seen improvements through other amenities that include a paved trail, washrooms, playground, fishing piers and habitat enhancements.

Those have been made possible through contributions from the federal and provincial governments, the Regional District of the East Kootenay, College of the Rockies, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, Cranbrook Rotary Club, Columbia Outdoor School and Blue Lake Forest Society.

Several other funding agencies, corporations and contractors have also made contributions and will be recognized at a grand opening of the park which a date will be announced soon.

Park visitors are reminded that certain areas of the park may be closed off during different phases of construction. Further, the lower field area adjacent to the horse-riding arena and amphitheater, will remain closed while restoration of the grassed area is complete.

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Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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