RMWB asking public for feedback on concept design for Waterfront Park

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is asking people to for input on a design concept for the Waterfront Park, which will stretch across six kilometres of riverfront between the Athabasca Bridge and Horse Pasture Park in Waterways.

The design team plans to have infrastructure at higher levels and will work to “ensure the entire area is designed to withstand flood and ice jams as much as possible.”

A municipal statement says the space will have community gathering spaces, improve access to the water and downtown, boost the riverfront’s nature and promote the region’s Indigenous heritage.

The design is based on feedback from engagement sessions held in June. There were 567 surveys completed, four Indigenous partner and stakeholder workshops, two committee meetings and four councillor workshops. More than two virtual open houses were held with a total of 22 people participating.

Key findings from the engagements was advancing Truth and Reconciliation, prioritizing the natural environment, spaces for recreation and opportunities for businesses.

The park is part of the municipality’s $30-million Waterfront Park Revitalization Plan. Last week the municipality selected a final design for the Snye Point Outdoor Event Space, which is part of the broader plan.

The municipality’s 2021 budget, which was passed by council in December, includes $4 million to be spent this year on the project. The municipality has already spent $5 million developing the area. Another $21 million is planned to be budgeted between 2022 and 2026.

Information about the project and feedback sessions can be found at rmwb.ca/waterfront. Engagement with the public is open until Sept. 12. People can fill out a survey online or by calling the PULSE line at 780-743-7000 or toll-free 1-800-973-9663.

People can also pre-register for a virtual open house scheduled for Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. and an in-person open house on Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. Pre-registration is not mandatory, but is encouraged by the municipality.

Municipal staff working on the project will also have pop-ups at multiple community locations where people can submit feedback.