Ward 5 councillor George Chahal has put forward a notice of motion to create a park in a northeast neighbourhood where green space is currently at a premium.

The proposed location for the park, which is expected to be between 1,100 and 1,400 square metres (12,000 and 15,000 square feet), would be on a plot of land on a dead-end road that currently houses an abandoned dirt pit.  The spot is at the east end of 89 Avenue Northeast, behind the homes along Saddlebrook Way, and near several acreages that the community of Saddle Ridge engulfs.

“I’d like to see a community park built on this site,” said Chahal. “We have approximately 300 residences and about 1,500 residents that are living in this community with no park. I think it would be a great use of an old right of way that we could build into a community park to serve the needs of the residents of this community.”

Chahal says the lack of a park in the neighbourhood was likely the result of an error made years ago and he wants to correct that mistake.

“There was no reserved land allocated for this area. I think we’ve found a creative solution here to use an old, road right of way that connects to the regional pathway to create a nice little pocket park here. There might be some benches, some nice trees to sit in shade in spring and summer, and maybe also an opportunity for a small playground or a set of swings for kids and families to enjoy.”

 “I think this is an important need for our community that will solve a big issue that we have in northeast Calgary and in Ward 5 with a lower quantity of parks compared to the rest of the city.”

Sabina Piche, who has lived in the community for years, welcomes the idea of a park.

“For me, it would be great. It would be beneficial because the fact that I’m a family person and I want to see families come together,” explained Piche. “Quite often, kids feel they have to go quite a few blocks away to a park.”

“I’ve been here so long but I don’t know many of my neighbours. I think having a park would be great for getting to know each other on a personal level base. It’s more than just ‘Hi neighbour’.”

Chahal says there will be several hurdles to overcome before the proposed park is approved.

“City council has approved reviewing this site, the road right of way, to ensure that this is an adequate size and we have the funding in place to build a park/playground in this location. We’ll spend the next few months doing the work on ensuring that we have a site layout and a plan and the appropriate capital funding to move this forward.”

With files from CTV’s Stephanie Wiebe