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Work on Bayly Park to get underway

Blog by Nick Swinburne | June 3rd, 2012

By this time next year, Whistlerites will have a new municipal park to enjoy.

That’s because starting in June, the RMOW will begin work on its Bayly Park project at Cheakamus Crossing, which will see a 21-acre portion of the area transformed into a park featuring playgrounds, sport courts and various other community amenities.

The project gets underway following almost a year of planning by RMOW staff after the project’s budget was cut in March 2011 from $3 million to $1.4 million.

Key amenities for the area will include community gardens for local residents, an off-leash dog park, all-weather gravel pitch, multi-use sports courts, volleyball court and lawn and picnic areas. Public washrooms and parking will also be added to the area for park users.

“It will be a great amenity for the neighbourhood of Cheakamus Crossing, and a new park in Whistler is always a good news story. And this one came in at a much more scaled-back cost,” said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden of the plans.

According to RMOW staff, park amenities will be opened up to the public as they are completed, with the plan to have it all finished by October. Following that, workers will have to wait until next spring before the area’s lawn and grass portions can be completed, with the ultimate goal being to have the park fully operational by spring/summer 2013.

“The landscaping is always the last thing to go in, so we won’t really see it in all of its glory until (next year). But it will be a great addition to Cheakamus Crossing,” said Wilhelm-Morden.

The first stage of development will see workers redistributing existing fill piles and re-contouring the park for development. The next stage will include the installation of underground site services such as waterlines, sewer, hydro and communications as well as the construction of structures. The final stage will be the landscaping portion in 2013.

“It looks fabulous,” Cheakamus Crossing resident Michelle Forster said of the plans, noting that she’s most looking forward to having the kids’ park and soccer pitch. “It will be great if we can get it going for the summer.”

When asked when residents can expect work to begin on some of the usable amenities such as playgrounds and sports courts, an RMOW spokesperson said those portions of the project will be put out to tender sometime in June.

Meanwhile, volunteers are being sought to help build and run the community gardens planned for the park. The gardens will be open to all Whistler residents and overseen by Whistler Community Services Society. Interested volunteers are invited to a meeting on Tuesday (June 5) at 6:30 p.m. at the athletes’ centre at Cheakamus. Email kari@mywcss.org for more info.

Forster said she’s happy that work is finally beginning on a park so close to home.

“It will be a really great meeting place for all the neighbours to get together and play,” said Forster. “The kids will have a playground and it will be really good for the neighbourhood and really bring everyone together.”

Christopher Poon

Whistler Question