Cove Park has been closed as work started on the first phase of the Cove Park Rehabilitation project Nov. 6.
“The Cove is really in need of this work,” said Chestermere Parks and Recreation Manager Kathy Russell.
“We’re really excited with the concept and I think the community will be equally excited,” she said.
The project will see the existing retaining wall replaced, new sand put on the beach, and new sod and landscaping put in.
Due to restrictions on work put on by the Western Irrigation District (WID), phase one of the project is required to be completed while the lake level is lowered.
Russell said that the park is scheduled to reopen in February next year for winter activities before being closed again from April to September 2018 while work on Phase two, the landscaping and natural playground, is completed.
Without a doubt, the star of the new park will be the new natural playground.
“A natural playground is really using natural products and encouraging kids to come up with a whole variety of different ways to play nature,” she said.
The specific design of the playground has not yet been finalized but Russell said some things that are going in will include boulders for kids to climb on and around.
She said they are also looking at different designs that include troughs so that kids can play with and learn to direct and control water flow.
Other play elements and structures will be made from different types of logs.
The final design will also include a progression in the play structures so that kids of all ages will be able to enjoy and grow with the park.
Russell said that the research she has seen has shown that these new playgrounds have a much higher play value than traditional playgrounds.
“How you measure play value is you look at how long a child engages in a particular area of play,” she said.
The longer a kid plays with particular toy or park structure, the better the play value.
“It’s basically up to their own imagination,” she said.
Russell said that the other water access location they are hoping to put in is at the end of the peninsula, however they need approval from WID before that can be confirmed.
“It’s a beautiful spot,” she said.
In addition to having a landscaped stair down to the water, Russell is looking at the possibility of installing a hammock park on the peninsula.
For more information and project updates go to www.chestermere.ca/647/Cove-Park-Rehabilation.