October 13, 2017

Wetland Restoration Work to Begin Next Week in Partnership with Columbia Outdoor School & SD5

Cranbrook, BC (October 13, 2017) – Activity continues with recreation upgrades at Idlewild Park, with a number of projects starting and wrapping up over the next few weeks.

Recently completed upgrades include the paving of a trail on the south side of the lake, which will tie in with two handicap parking spots, and will allow easier access along the lake and to one of the fishing docks. Further enhancements to the trail on the south side will be implemented in the New Year.

New outhouses on the south side of the lake are in the process of installation and will be functional shortly.   A new washroom facility in the playground area on the north side of the park will see ground breaking in early November.  A new feature covered pier is anticipated to be installed soon on the north side of the lake.

City staff will be removing the components of the old playground, with full removal scheduled to take place on Tuesday October 17th.  This will be in preparation for an exciting new playground feature that will be installed in early spring 2018.  It is important for the public to please stay off the playground and away from the demolition site for safety. 

During this same period, machinery will be onsite removing invasive plants in the marsh area located at the north east corner of the lake.  This work will begin immediately and could result in temporary closures of the trail in that area. 

“We are very happy with what we have accomplished in the first year of the recreation upgrades to the park,” says Chris New, Director of Community Services with the City of Cranbrook. “As we near completion of the core projects, we will soon be rolling out opportunities for the community to be involved in the next phase of upgrades.”

Meantime, the City in partnership with the Columbia Outdoor School and School District No. 5, will begin work on the redevelopment of riparian areas around Idlewild Lake starting next week.  Nearly 2000 students will be visiting Idlewild through the end of October.

Schools will be on site each day going through lessons and activities, organized and presented by the Columbia Outdoor School, learning about habitats, riparian and wetland areas and invasive species while helping to plant sections around Idlewild with new native shrubs, grasses and plugs.  This replanting initiative will make a huge difference to the look of Idlewild Lake quite quickly.

“The work being completed in the marsh area will help ensure this area returns to a functioning ecosystem helping with water quality and increased habitat for birds, amphibians and other wildlife in the park,” says Todd Hebert, Executive Director with Columbia Outdoor School.

“Getting the students outside and involved in this important community project and helping to enhance the area will connect them to the outdoors and the natural environment,” Hebert adds.

Park users are reminded to exercise caution and avoid areas where the work is taking place.

Photos courtesy City of Cranbrook and Restore Joseph Creek.

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