Grant to benefit Granisle’s Lakeview Park

Lakeview Park in Granisle is set to be bigger and better.

Granisle mayor Frederick Clarke and councillors Paula Forbes

Granisle mayor Frederick Clarke and councillors Paula Forbes

Lakeview Park in Granisle is set to be bigger and better.

Just last week the province announced a $400,000 grant from the Towns for Tomorrow fund to go towards upgrades.

A dozen new self-contained campsites, a new park path and a gazebo built from mountain pine beetle killed wood are just some of the upgrades coming to the park.

The project, built on reclaimed industrial land is valued at $550,000 in total and will also see the removal of an old access road and the installation of solar powered lighting.

According to the province, the construction work will support approximately six jobs in the region.

Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad said in a press release that 500 Granisle residents and visitors will benefit from the project as they will have an accessible community gathering space.

It is hoped the park will encourage healthy activities like walking and running on safe, paved pathways.

“Investing in parks improves the quality of life for people living in Granisle and makes our region a more attractive place to visit. Reclaiming old industrial land and using beetle killed wood for this project is a smart way to turn yesterday’s problems into today’s solutions,” Rustad said.

Mayor of Granisle, Frederick Clarke said to Lakes District News last week that the project will benefit the community in a number of ways.

He said it will not only help the community by providing an aesthetic value, but that planning for the project will bring the community together.

The park will be located in the area between the information centre and the fire hall and will be on the lake shore. Currently the area is covered with thick vegetation and is used by residents as a dog walking track.

“It is our idea to reduce the vegetation, not so there is bank erosion, but reduce the vegetation enough so that there will be a view of the lake,” mayor Clarke said.

He went on to say that a professional park designer will be hired, as well as a project manager.

Plans will then be presented to a select committee comprising of an elected official and any number of community members. “We want community participation and hopefully there will be a lot of design choices presented to the committee.”

According to Clarke it is a three year project and one that he is very excited about.

The community will receive $400,000 and will have to contribute another $100,000 over the three years, but mayor Clarke said the contribution does not have to come in the form of dollars.

“It can be providing equipment for the project, village staff can work on the project as well as elected people and community members who can volunteer their time …. it can be a sweat equity contribution,” he said.

Mayor Clarke said the Granisle park will emulate Steelhead Park on Hwy. 16 in Houston.

“The area [for the new park] has been the subject of debate in Granisle for a while and I don’t think the park plans will make everyone happy, but a majority of community members are already smiling,” he said.

“When you include the residents and ask for public participation the project benefits by working as a community builder,” mayor Clarke said.

He went on to say that the additional campsites will most likely be located in another location, more directly on the lake and will provide an opportunity for increased tourism opportunity in the area.