The City of Abbotsford received a Parks Excellence Award on Thursday (May 5) for Grant Park.
The award, presented by BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA), recognizes outstanding design and development of park spaces using natural elements or repurposing materials.
The park space must reflect innovative community culture, which is accessible to all patrons and encourages individuals and communities to get out into nature. The park must also positively impact the well-being of the community and of the recreation and parks sector.
Grant Park – located at 31850 Madeira Place – is Abbotsford’s first fully accessible all-in-one baseball-themed park. In developing the park, the city and its community enhanced and refurbished safe spaces for young people of all abilities to play baseball, develop life skills and learn from positive role models and through play.
The park’s innovative design includes the use of recycled materials and focuses on inclusion, with wheelchair-accessible surfaces, dugouts, washrooms, and playground and picnic facilities that welcome people of all abilities.
Grant Park also includes high-level ecological and climate considerations. The design retained 80 per cent of the park’s existing trees and included new rain gardens to support site run-off without adding pressure to the city’s storm water system, while also rehabilitating the natural park habitat.
BCRPA CEO Rebecca Tunnacliffe said the organization is proud to present the award to the city.
“This state-of-the-art park reflects new levels of creativity in how park design can respond to the needs of community members while also prioritizing inclusion, community building, and the natural environment to ensure its sustainability for generations to come,” she said.
The Parks Excellence Award is one of five provincial Awards of Excellence presented during BCRPA’s annual symposium conference in Whistler.
Each award is presented on behalf of more than 4,000 recreation and parks sector members from across B.C.