ONGOING WORK - The Town of Sylvan Lake has begun work on creating a temporary green space at what will be known as Lakefront Park at the previous Wild Rapids Waterslide Park. Eventually the park will be replaced by some sort of recreational space after extensive public engagement.                                Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

ONGOING WORK - The Town of Sylvan Lake has begun work on creating a temporary green space at what will be known as Lakefront Park at the previous Wild Rapids Waterslide Park. Eventually the park will be replaced by some sort of recreational space after extensive public engagement. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Work begins on temporary Lakefront Park

The new park will temporarily take the place of Wild Rapids Waterslide Park

What was once Wild Rapids Waterslide park will soon be a town run green space, at least temporarily. The Town of Sylvan Lake purchased the park in the fall of 2016 but announced the plans to purchase the property that June.

The plan was to use the space to create a new recreational location on the lake front.

“[The Town] has never owned lakefront property before, so we want to make sure it something everyone will love,” said Joanne Gaudet, communication coordinator with the Town.

The development of the property will be done in two stages, the first of which is already underway. Stage one of the project Gaudet called the Lakefront Park. This space was meant to already be near completion, unfortunately the wet weather has made moving forward with the project difficult.

“We’ve purchased furnishings for the space such as benches – we are just waiting for the sod to go down,” explained Gaudet.

The Farmer’s Market has been relocated to the up-and-coming park, according to Gaudet.

The Town has opened requests for proposals, to find who may be interested in leasing one outbuilding already located at the park. Gaudet said the buildings could be leased for anything from a concession to a service.

“It would be very seasonal, that is important to know. It wouldn’t be a full time sort of thing,” said Gaudet.

The space is meant to be an “open green space” similar to what is seen at Centennial Park. However, this park is temporary and will eventually be replaced with something else.

“No one will miss it once it’s gone,” said Gaudet.

The Lakefront Park is a $100,000 project, Gaudet said.

The Waterfront Redevelopment Strategy is stage two of the project. This stage will take a significant amount of time to accomplish. Stage two will include a great deal of public involvement. The Town is very interested in what locals would like to see done with the space.

“There will be extensive public involvement, we want to hear what the town wants,” Gaudet said.

The town will at one point in the public discussions, accept designs for a future “recreational space.” This could lead to a design competition, according to Gaudet.

“We think a competition would be a fun way to get the town involved in the process,” she said.

The town will take into consideration whatever the citizens recommend, but Gaudet was leery of giving examples.

“I don’t want anyone to think this or that is the only option. We really want to hear what you want.”

There is no official timeline for completion of the project, as it could take a while.

The public engagement could take a minimum one month to complete alone. With the public engagement, the Town is also looking for matching funding from government grants.

Gaudet says Sylvan Lake is looking for $60,000 for initial funding.

The Town has already applied for grants to machining funds for the initial costs, which will include the consultation portion.

“I don’t want anyone to think we will have something like an amusement park built by 2020.”

Gaudet did say the project will be throughly planned out, and will be a huge undertaking for the Town. The drive behind the purchase was to give the locals, and tourists, a recreational space to take the place of the waterslide park. The total space of five acres will be used only for a recreational space of some sort.

“We can guarantee it will not be made into condos or anything like that,” said Gaudet.

The work to create a green space is currently ongoing, and Gaudet says it is planned to be fully opened as a temporary space by Canada Day.

green spaceLakefront Park