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Residents divided over Chappel East parkette makeover

By Gord Bowes, News staff

Some long-neglected central Mountain parkland is getting a makeover.
Residents got a look at plans for the Chappel East Parkette at a public meeting last week.
Three options were presented to residents ranging from a passive use — cleaning up overgrowth and dead brush, installing some seating and a paved path — to a more active recreation usage with a playground structure and fewer trees.
Joanna Williams, mother of two young children, likes the latter option to fill a need in the roughly 15-year-old subdivision.
“There’s no playground structure whatsoever in our neighbourhood,” she said.
Currently, she has to drive to the playground next to the Mountain police station on Rymal East, which is geared toward older kids, or drive further to Allison Park.
“It’s kind of silly,” said Williams, who lives almost next to the Chappel parkette.
Trish Adam, whose home backs onto the parkette, which is located at Upper Wentworth and Vineberg Avenue, said she wants to see minimal change. She said a new playground structure was installed late last year a short distance away behind Ray Lewis elementary school that can be used by children in the neighbourhood.
“Ultimately, I’d prefer they maintain it as is,” said Adam.
Central Mountain councillor Scott Duvall said most of the residents he has heard from about Chappel East say they want minimal change. He said there have been some mischief complaints and cleaning up the deadwood would help decrease that.
Steve Barnhart, the acting manager of landscape architectural services, said what can be done with the site is limited by the uneven ground. Filling in low spots would smother existing trees when his department wants to preserve as much existing vegetation as possible.
Comments will be collected from the public and a decision on which option to move ahead with could be made in the spring. Planning would then take place, but it would likely be next year before there are any changes, said Barnhart.
“We’re not rushing for construction this year,” he said.

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