New Westminster approves a new parklet in the Brow of the Hill

A new gathering place is coming to the Brow of the Hill neighbourhood this summer.

Council has endorsed a design concept and location for a new parklet at 1010 Fifth Ave., which is adjacent to St. Barnabas Church.  Council directed staff to proceed with implementation of the parklet for summer 2019.

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The city will spend up to $15,000 on the parklet, which will encompass an area that includes the grass boulevard, a section of sidewalk and two parking stalls.

“The parklet is designed to encourage neighbourhood gathering and includes social seating, bicycle parking, and informal play elements for children,” said a staff report. “The church committee has suggested that the city include an outdoor neighbourhood notice board or communal library. The committee also expressed interest in a joint celebration to launch the parklet that coincides with National Aboriginal Day on June 21, 2019.”

Coun. Nadine Nakagawa questioned whether the parklet would also include greenspace and trees.

“I would really like to see if there are opportunities to have additional greenspace and trees added to this parklet, because we do know the Brow is underserved,” she said. “I understand that was part of the presentation that initiated this process.”

In February 2018, Alice Cavanagh and Rick Vugteveen of the Brow of the Hill Residents’ Association appeared before council to urge the city to introduce some short-term and long-term initiatives aimed at improving the livability of the neighbourhood by planting more trees and creating more parks.

According to a staff report, staff worked with the residents’ association to identify this location for a parklet.

Erika Mashig, the city’s manager of arboriculture, horticulture, parks and open space planning, said she’s corresponded with representatives of the Brow of the Hill Residents’ Association, and they were pleased to know the city’s tree-planting strategy is underway and tree-planting opportunities are being identified.

“It is a well-treed area,” she said. “At this point we were planning on a neighbourhood planting of plants, vegetation. No trees specifically because it is a constrained site.”

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