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River spot designated for park in Black Diamond

Have ideas on what should be included in a riverside park? The Town of Black Diamond is interested in hearing them.
Black Diamond Municipal Building
The Town of Black Diamond will seek residents' ideas on a new river-side park in the spring. (Western Wheel File Photo)

A spot to hang out by the river in Black Diamond is in the works and residents can share their input early next year on what they would like to see at the new park area.

At their last meeting before the election on Oct. 6, the previous town council designated a 5.23 acre piece of land next to the Sheep River for public day-use.

The plan for the area will go out for public consultation in the spring of 2022, said CAO Sharlene Brown

“We are really hoping the community will be able to engage with the Town and advise what they want,” she said.

There is already a park and ride parking lot on the land and there will be a seasonal washroom facility as well. The rest of the site is treed. 

What else goes on the park will be largely up to the community, but will also be dictated by Provincial legislation because it is in a floodway and flood plain.

“If we go back to after the flood of 2013, that piece of property was severely affected during that flood,” she said. “The bridge moved away from the land and although that property did not significantly flood, it was adjacent.”

The bridge is located in the southwest corner of the river day-use area. After the flood, it was no longer recommended that the site be used for residential development, so the Town bought it, Brown explained.

“We had to declare it an environmental reserve,” she said, adding permanent structures will be prohibited because it is in a flood plain.

Brown said residents want more access to the river.

“What we have heard is the community really likes to have access to the river, whether it is in the summer for tubing or fishing or any of those passive types of passive recreational activities,” she said.

Creating a river-side park is also good for bringing in tourists, she said.

“Having river access is important for a town that is trying to make itself a destination,” she said. “So, providing recreational access adjacent to rivers is going to be important, now and in the future.”

The only other ways to easily access the river in Black Diamond are from the berm by the Lions Memorial Park and the environmental reserve land behind the Black Diamond Arena.

Black Diamond Coun. Veronica Kloiber said it would be good to see fire pits and picnic tables at the site.

“It would be wonderful to have river access and possibly, I don’t know if this is feasible, connecting pathways,” she said.

Kloiber said there are currently no pathways in the area, so a new one could be built to connect to the Friendship Trail.

She said adding pathways will be a conversation that will have to be had in the future.

About the Author: Darlene Casten

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