The Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club‘s goal of hosting provincial and national tournaments inched closer to success last week. The club’s application to increase the number of bowling pitches has been “approved in principle,” says Keath Parker, manager with Calgary’s Parks Planning and Development Services. Parker leads the City’s Stanley Park Redevelopment Initiative, launched on March 16.
Parker notes that the lawn bowling club’s four-year-old application to expand its facilities in one of Calgary’s largest parks is currently suspended and has not been officially approved but says that “there is recognition that there is going to be expansion [of the club’s facility]; we just need to resolve the most appropriate location for that to happen.”
The club’s application was “one of the key factors” in the Parks department’s decision to consider a potential redevelopment of Stanley Park, which includes the escarpment along the Elbow River pathway up to the memorial building of the Southern Alberta Pioneers and Their Descendants, or the Pioneer’s Club.
Other factors influenced the decision to launch what Parker prefers to call a “redesign,” rather than “redevelopment,” of Stanley Park.
While the City has not measured the actual usage of Stanley Park over time, many factors indicate an increase, according to Parker.
Parking in and around Stanley Park has become more and more difficult during the summer, a peak period of usage; applications for park bookings have increased in the last few years; and the park’s maintenance staff reports increasing wear and tear of natural features and park facilities, says Parker.
“Maintenance only goes so far, and then you can’t just maintain,” says Parker. “You have to replace.”
The Stanley Park Redevelopment Initiative is in its earliest information-gathering phase at this point. Public engagement launched on March 16 with an introductory program and continued with a stakeholder workshop on March 23. All aspects of the park are under review, from tennis courts and swimming pools to playing fields and bowling pitches. Parker understands that the lawn bowling club wants clarity on the subject of their application. While he can’t promise anything at this point, he says, “We are supportive of their need to expand.”
For more information, visit calgary.ca.