Saturday, June 13, 2015

Canada 150 funding application for Lundbreck Patton Park project meets with MD council's approval

Livingstone School student Danielle Hann speaks to MD council about Patton Park project

Christian Davis

The proposed Patton Park project in Lundbreck received the support of council for the MD of Pincher Creek at their June 9 meeting, with council deciding to apply for a Canada 150 Infrastructure Fund Grant after hearing from several delegations over the past few years, including a delegation at the June 9 meeting composed of Livingstone School teacher/Patton Park Society President Kathy Rast and two Livingstone School students. Teacher Ms. Liesl Leishman and students from the grade 5 and 6 classes at Livingstone School were also present, staying for much of the June 9 meeting, both observing and participating in the democratic process. They also brought with them proposed designs for the park.

Livingstone School grade 6 student Alina Pharis introduces classmates to council
Livingstone grade 6 student Alina Pharis was invited to introduce her peers to council at the beginning of the meeting.  "We are here to help present the Paton Park Project that is happening in our area," she said.

The Patton Park Committee of Lundbreck met on April 29, 2015. They decided to form their own Society in order to be able to secure grants. An election of Officers for the Patton Park Society was held.

Patton Park Society executive (2015):
President - Kathy Rast
Vice President - Dennis Olson
Treasurer - Tanya Douglas
Secretary - Kristen Mcintyre
Livingstone School teacher/Patton Park Society President Kathy Rast
Kathy Rast and student representative Lisa Leishman formed the official delegation speaking to council. Rast explained that her husband Kyle Rast (who was also in attendance) has extensive experience planning and building golf courses. "I have asked for his help in revitalizing Patton Park into something that looks good." She requested that council consider giving him authority as a volunteer or by contract to work with MD Director of Operations Leo Reedyk in the oversight and planning of the first phase of the project. Kyle is in the process of creating an irrigation plan.

Kathy Rast also referred to letters of support the project has received, excerpted below.

Livingstone Range School Board Superintendent Dave Driscoll wrote "Student learning is enhanced through interactions with actual examples related to their studies. Mrs. Leishman's grade 6 class at Livingstone School has taken on a variety of interdisciplinary projects ranging from park planning to statistical analysis (preferred park design) that has been integrated into the curriculum. The class is excited about attending the next MD meeting and presenting their projects, hence supporting their role in the revitalization of the park."

"Patton Park is an asset to the Lundbreck community and Livingstone Range School Division wholly stands behind the community's initiative to revitalize and beautify the park," Driscoll concluded.

Lundbreck Gardener's Club President Monica Zwikstra wrote "The Lundbreck Gardener's Club believes Patton Park should be inclusive of the entire community, which reflects a varied and diverse population. We believe that the revitalization of this park will be beneficial in attracting persons wanting to live in this area and to providing a place of interest and beauty to the tourists to our hamlet. We support and look forward to working with the Patton Park group."

Lundbreck Citizen's Council Vice President Debby Brown wrote "There are and will be many people involved in this from the community and the MD. To date Denis Olsen has drafted a 5 year plan to upgrade the Park. Tanya Douglas is looking into grant applications at this time and Kathy Rast is generally co-ordinating it all and keeping the ball rolling. The Lundbreck Citizen's Council is in favor of all of this and supports the Patton Park Society in any way we can."

Proposed Patton Park layout (altered Google map)

During her presentation to council Kathy Rast requested volunteers be authorized to work in the park at times when MD workers are unavailable and/or do not have the required area of expertise. "My third request or suggestion is that all volunteer activities be run past Leo (Reedyk) first, so that he is always aware of what we're doing out there, and make sure that he knows and has approved of the work that might be going on out there." She suggested that once the project is finished "We meet again and decide a responsibility list of who does what, what we might be allowed to do in the park, and what the MD would be responsible for doing in the park."

Livingstone School teacher Liesl Leishman explained she used Patton Park as a Social Studies project for her charges, and they made posters of various ideas for the park, which were presented to council. The entire student body voted for their favourites among the plans.

Student Danielle Hann addressed the council on behalf of the student body. She explained her grade 6 class toured the park, "Then the groups decided what we wanted to keep in the park, and what we wanted different in the park."

"We have two boys that are hoping to help design it in our grade 6 class."

"Since we now know what all the age groups want, maybe we could combine them, so everyone's happy."
Patton Park conceptual graphic

Reeve Brian Hammond thanked Hann and Rast for the presentation and said it was extremely gratifying to see so many people from various ages and organizations involved in the project. "We hope we can find a meaningful way to work with you."

Kyle Rast was asked for some input on costs. He suggested that the components for an irrigation system would cost approximately $38,000. He explained that he has a centralized plan roughed out. "It can be added to or subtracted easily and quickly without running a bunch of wires." He added it could be supplied by the current pump house, emphasizing it would be a good idea to use existing infrastructure wherever possible.

A grass track has been recommended for the park. "We have heard from the community as well," said Kyle Rast, "and red shale is not what they want in there. Part of the revitalization side is that it's all turf. Even the ball diamonds, the infields are going to go onto turf rather than shale, because it kicks up and blows around."

In May of 2014 Dennis Olsen appeared before council as a delegation. He told council that the sprinkler system at Patton Park had fallen into disrepair and it had been infested with gophers, resulting in a diminished level of community activity in the park. Council recommended the citizens of Lundbreck form a committee to provide recommendations about the future of the park. "I was at that meeting a year ago, where I think I suggested that we could engage the students," said Leo Reedyk at the June 9 2015 meeting of council. "I certainly didn't expect this (the significant involvement of Livingstone School students)."

Grumpy's Landscaping developed a Construction Responsibilities Plan that accompanied their estimate for providing gravel, topsoil, mulch, and other items to the project.
According to a report from MD Director of Operations Leo Reedyk "Planning for park upgrades is contingent on firstly upgrading the sprinkler system in the park and secondly identifying a source or sources of funding for upgrades. Within the 2015 Municipality operational budget, $7,000 was approved for 2015 to start to identify costs and provide minor upgrades to the sprinkler system for the sports field. Costs to upgrade the whole park to automatic sprinklers has been identified at $210,000. Council has the ability to fund that upgrade in 2015 with funds from the MSI (Municipal Sustainability Initiative) Grant Program.

"An application to the Canada 150 Infrastructure Fund for improvements to the park including sprinkler system, trails, plantings and top soil and reseeding would result in approximately $417,000.00 worth of improvements to the park over the next 3 years. If the grant is approved the municipality would be required to fund 50% of the approved project costs through matching grants or tax funded allocations."

The Canada 150 Infrastructure Fund is designed to help communities, businesses, and organizations to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. There is no deadline currently established to submit an application.

Two projects were considered by council for the Canada 150 application process, Patton Park and the proposed Beaver Mines pathway. After some discussion, council decided to support the Patton Park application as their top priority, primarily because the Beaver Mines pathway project comes with a much smaller pricetag that could be funded in other ways.

If the application is successful, the MD's portion of the annual project costs will have to be funded prior to the March 31, 2018 funding deadline.

Councillors Fred Schoening and Garry Marchuk examine student plans for Patton Park

Proposed timeline for Patton Park Revitalization and Development
(as presented to council on February 23, 2015 by Dennis Olson)

Year 1 - 2015
1.   Soccer posts built  and installed
2.   Slow pitch ball park
a)   North perimeter chain link fence
b)   Irrigation  installed
c)   Field worked  up, smoothed,  packed and seeded
d)   Diamond marked and equipped
e)   Dugouts and bleachers repaired/updated
3.   Track and Field
a)   Irrigation  installed
b)  Track repaired, smoothed, re-planted
c)    Field runways and pits repaired/updated
d)   Liner purchased
4.   Park
a)   Main water  lines updated/installed
b)   Design future features  -  trees, paths, additional  recreational  features
c)   Community and school research gathered and considered

Year 2 - 2016
1.   Soccer
   a)   Nets and upright  pads bought  and installed
   b)   Lines put in
2.   Slow pitch ball park
   a)   Outfield  fence installed
   b)   Perimeter  trees planted
3.   Track & Field
   a)   Repair and updated
4.   Park general Area
   a)   Perimeter missing trees planted, add trees to outer shelter belt
   b)   Natural themed  playground - initial groundwork and materials rounded  up
   c)   Water -  spring developed,  possible future water park or water theme
   d)   Pathways -  main pathways begun
   e)   Paved area around  buildings?

Year 3 -  2017
1.   Soccer -  repaired  and maintained
2.   Track and Field
   a)   Possible additional Track or Field events
   b)   Repaired/maintained

Related story:

Council for MD of Pincher Creek asked to ponder Patton Park proposal (May 2014)

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