Abbotsford is blessed with dozens of parks, some among the very best in the Lower Mainland. We are running a Final Four-style bracket that pits Abbotsford’s lesser-loved parks against one another. Vote for your favourite park and see if you’re in the majority. At the end, we’ll set the favourite against Mill Lake Park – the prohibitive favourite – and see if its backers can help it knock off the city’s crown jewel. At the end of the day, hopefully you will find a new park to explore.
All polls can be found here. You can also vote on separate polls our Facebook page.
The first round of voting is over with only one upset – and that may reflect more on the seeder of this bracket than public perception itself. Here, forthwith are the results. To tally the results, we have combined vote counts from both the Facebook pages and the individual poll pages.
1. Sumas Mountain vs. 16. Matsqui Village
Winner: Sumas Mountain – 66%
Matsqui Village Park, the winner of our little wild card bracket, gave the largest park in the Abbotsford area a run for its money. But Sumas Mountain was too big, with too large of a constituency to be beaten by a park that mainly serves a relatively small neighbourhood (even if it does that particularly well).
2. Rotary/Exhibition vs. 15. Berry
Winner: Rotary/Exhibition – 69%
No surprise here. Berry’s community focus got swamped by the biggest sports complex in Abbotsford. It’s hard for a single ball diamond to beat a park with four.
3. Aldergrove Regional vs. 14. Ravine Park
Winner: Aldergrove Rgl – 66%
Another easy win, although it’s worth noting that Ravine – which attracted the most negative comments of any park in this contest – attracted a much higher share of the vote on Facebook than on the survey on our website.
4. Fishtrap Creek vs. 13. Old Riverside Park
Winner: Fishtrap Creek – 77%
Our poll confirms that Old Riverside isn’t well-known or well-appreciated. Although it compares decently to Ravine Park and even Maclure Park, Old Riverside garnered one of the smallest share of votes in the first round.
5. Clearbrook/Downes vs. 12. Maclure
Winner: Maclure Park – 61%
Our one upset saw Maclure top Clearbrook Park and Downes Bowl. While your bracket chief has written extensively about his love of Downes Bowl, it’s clear the trail network is criminally under-appreciated. More surprising was the fact that Clearbrook Park proper – complete with two well-used off-leash dog areas – didn’t get enough love to down Maclure. Of note, this was the one contest where voting on Facebook and our website differed. The larger Facebook tallies swung the match-up for Maclure.
6. Matsqui Trail vs. 11. Horn Creek
Winner: Matsqui Trail – 85%
Matsqui Trail was always favoured, but its margin of victory is impressive and a sign that it may have lasting strength as the match-ups start to get tougher.
7. Bateman/Stoney Creek vs. 10. Albert Dyck Park
Winner: Bateman/Stoney Creek – 69%
Bateman Park and Stoney Creek easily best Albert Dyck, which has some unique features, but can’t draw crowds like Bateman.
8. Delair vs. 9. Willband Creek Park
Winner: Willband Creek Park – 64%
We confess this match-up didn’t get properly displayed on our website until Monday. What can we say? Last week was a busy one. Anyways, once voting got started this morning, the results show Willband’s trails are more widely beloved than Delair’s baseball facility.
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The second round of match-ups are enticing and will be unpredictable. Voting for the next round round will take place on a single story at abbynews.com and via Facebook polls later this week. You can keep an eye out for the story on our website here.