Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hunter Park restoration moves forward

Last fall, the City of Langley learned that the trees in Hunter Park had Laminated Root Rot. Because of the nature of this disease, most of the trees in the park had to be removed.

While the removal of these trees was sad, their removal did offer an opportunity to rethink the future of Hunter Park. City council recently adopted a new task force model to engage residents in helping shape their community. A Hunter Park Task Force was formed with local community members to help guide the restoration of Hunter Park.

In late February, the City hosted an open house to get feedback on potential features to be included in the restored Hunter Park. Did people generally prefer a more passive park with walking trails and nature, or a more active park with a sports court, additional playgrounds, and picnic shelter?

The clear feedback from the open house was that people wanted to see a more passive park with deciduous and evergreen trees, and native plantings. Along the border of the park, people wanted street trees. There was a strong desire to enhanced the pathway network in the park, and include some more park benches and tables around the current playground area. People also wanted to see some small open grass areas.

Based on the feedback received, the Hunter Park Task Force received a draft design from City staff to further refine last night.

Some design elements being proposed for the restored Hunter Park. Select image to enlarge.

An example of trees that may be planted in and along the border of Hunter Park. Select image to enlarge.

The City design also includes low-barrier, wood fencing along the perimeter of the park which will act as a vehicle barricade. The design includes an iconic entrance. This entrance and proposed benches will be made from wood of the trees that were removed from the park. An interpretive sign with park history, and the retention of some stumps will serve as a reminder of the former urban forest.

There was good discussion among members of the task force and City staff. Based on the recommendations of the task force members, the design of Hunter Park will be further refined. The task force will have one last look at the design in a few weeks’ time, before it goes to council for approval.

Some task force members and City staff reviewing a draft design for Hunter Park. Select image to enlarge.

The goal is to have the park restoration work completed by the end of the year.

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