NEW ROUTE - Local residents take a closer look at a new trail route being planned for Riverside Meadows during an open house about the project held May 12th. Mark Weber/Red Deer Express

Public learn about new trail in Riverside Meadows

Trail development will tie in with City’s existing trail system

Local residents had the chance to learn about a new trail set for construction in Riverside Meadows.

An open house was held at the Riverside Meadows Community Centre on May 12th, where City staff had diagrams to show the options for developing the path and were available to chat with residents about the addition to Red Deer’s already extensive trail system.

“It would go from the Mustard Seed, meander through the green space (next to it) and along the back of the court here by the Riverside Meadows Community Centre,” explained Dave Mair, parks planning coordinator for the City of Red Deer.

It would then extend northwest to meet up with an existing trail.

A second section of trail would start at the western end of the existing trail near Howarth Street Close and then travel southwest to 60th St.

Mair said construction is expected to begin this fall.

“We’d like to get shovels in the ground the beginning of September and aim to finish before the snow starts,” he said.

“For parks, we get excited about opening up areas and people having fun, meeting their neighbours, getting outside on a hot sunny day. So I think the project will deliver on that,” said Mair. “That’s what we’ve heard from the community too, is that they want to use this park more.”

With the path being developed, that would be much more feasible – there is an existing path of sorts from years of people cutting through the woods, but a proper, asphalt path would only be a strong enhancement to the City’s trail system.

“When we put in asphalt, we can then use it all year round,” he said, adding that during ‘shoulder’ seasons, it now tends to be muddy but, “When we put in asphalt, suddenly the experience is a whole lot better.

“It’s helping the function – getting from A to B. We are also opening up access to green space and we are giving people a recreational loop to use and enjoy.

“The other thing is that this place has fabulous views of the City – it’s just that you’re not going to see it unless you are hiking through thick brush. So we would be opening up that, and I think people are really going to get a kick out of that.”

Mair said that generally, people just want to see the park space opened up.

Currently, there are two options pertaining to the trail development – one includes the building of boardwalk which would help reduce impact on the thick treed area surrounding a small portion of the trail’s route.

“It’s trying to figure out the best way to move through the space and balancing access with preserving trees.”

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