Squamish Parks and Rec Master Plan Proposes Far-Reaching Changes

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Oct. 27, 2012

A public fitness centre and a physiotherapy clinic at the Brennan Park Recreation Centre, rebranding the seniors centre as the community centre, and relocating the equestrian centre.

Equestrian community strongly denounced plans to relocate the equestrian centre to a new location near the Rod and Gun Club. Jinny Antilla, the vice-president of equestrian association was one among the many who spoke against the plan. (Photo by Gagandeep Ghuman)

These are just some suggestions district presented to the community at an open house on Oct. 24 at the Seniors Centre.

At this point, it’s just a draft; it merely lays out a long-term vision for how parks and recreation programs will develop and evolve in Squamish.

Still, there are big changes being proposed.

For Brennan Park Recreation Centre, the district plans a major renovation and expansion in the next decade.

Some of these potential upgrades include a fitness space for special equipment and circuit training, a gymnasium, a café, and health programs and services.

Enlarged office spaces with adequate light and polished outside appearances are also in the cards.

These far-reaching changes are not just limited to Brennan Park.

The district also plans to create a family and children’s services centre at the Ministry of Forests building across from the recreation centre.

This children’s service centre will have an expanded play area, with a potential to add camping.

Creating a more visible entrance from Highway 99, adding two slo-pitch fields and lights, and changing the Loggers Sports Ground to a multi-functional space are also on the anvil.

Residents can also expect a second turf field and more parking.

But as was evident on Wednesday, not every plan in the draft will be met by public approval.

Members of the equestrian community turned up to denounce district plans to relocate the equestrian centre to a location near the gun club.

There was little consultation about the decision, they charged, and relocation would lay to waste money and time spent on the present equestrian centre.

“It’s completely and utterly ridiculous to suggest that children on horses be moved next door to the gun club,” said Sarah Flumerfelt.

The vice-president of Squamish Valley Equestrian Association, Jinny Antilla, said the thought of moving the equestrian centre is shocking.

“We are on the verge of paying the last bill on the final finishing touches,” she said.

“From two riding rinks to a single one ring, near the Rod and Gun club, I won’t be comfortable taking my student there.”

The flustered district consultant, Eric Lees, said it must be remembered that this was just a draft.

“In the long run, some of these things will remain, while others won’t,” he said.

Comments

  1. p says:

    Although I live on Raven Drive, and have heard much rumour about a legacy park on land at the northeast end of Raven, I have never been contacted about the plan or invited to a public meeting that introduces any conceptuals to those most affected, those that live here.
    I caught a portion of the Park and Rec meeting, but had to leave early. From my short time at the meeting I got the impression that there was an agenda that was being pushed by DoS containing many surprises for the citizens.

  2. Jeannie Bardach says:

    Leave the equestrian arenas where they are!

  3. Tracy says:

    I think it’s necessary to include the taxpayers most likely to be affected by any changes made to this area by DOS. While it would be wonderful to have a fitness center, physiotherapy, etc. located at Brennan Park, lets hope the District approaches that plan with the business community in mind & not to compete against those who already invested in these service within our community. We should expand areas at Brennan Park to accomodate businesses offering services that cater to our well being, but the space needs to be put out for tender & a fair process be taken if this is to happen.