Hundreds of Calgarians offer views on Richmond Green redevelopment
If Calgarians get their way, pickleball courts will be a popular new offering in a redesigned southwest park.
City council was given an update this week on the engagement process and prospective concepts for Richmond Green park.
Two concepts have been put before Calgarians and hundreds of people have offered their thoughts.
Both concepts for a redesigned regional park include things like expanded green space, pickleball courts and destination playgrounds.
But other elements are being explored, including a cricket batting cage, a pump track and a fenced off-leash dog park.
There have been three rounds of public engagement.
The chair of city council's infrastructure and planning committee, Coun. Sonya Sharp, said she's not surprised at the level of public interest in the project.
"A lot of people are interested in making sure that this piece of land gets developed with amenities that suit the community, which is important," said Sharp.
There have been past controversies involving Richmond Green.
In 2021, city council shut down a former city golf course to save money and it was converted to an open space offering disc golf.
Then council directed city administration to sell off 5.5 acres of the park for residential development and decided to close a nearby 10-acre city works yard, which is being added to the park.
The city says the park will be bigger than present with 48.5 acres of land available as public space.
The councillor for the area, Ward 8's Courtney Walcott, said he's pleased that people are taking an interest in the redevelopment process.
"I want to see as many voices as possible (take part) to make sure that I have the best regional park in the city," said Walcott.
Pickleball in play
As for pickleball, the councillor said he has limited experience with the racquet sport, which has been growing quickly in popularity.
But Walcott is glad that pickleball courts have been included in both concepts put out for the city's engagement process.
"I think what's interesting about pickleball is really it's a very accessible sport that requires very basic infrastructure. And so all of a sudden, people have a lot of interest in seeing that sport grow because I think it's not prohibitive. It's accessible. It's inclusive."
City officials intend to finalize the park plan for Richmond Green later this year. Design work would come next.
It's expected construction would begin in 2024 or 2025.