Mix in a climbing boulder, pump track and slacklines and you’ve got the beginnings of a downtown Squamish park.
On Tuesday (Oct. 22), at Committee of the Whole, District of Squamish staff unveiled conceptual plans for its Mamquam Blind Channel waterfront parcel. In April, the municipality acquired the four-acre parcel through a provincial government program.
Its final use has been the talk around city hall. But until the district can hammer out a public access agreement with CN Rail, plans need to be somewhat temporary.
Municipal staff presented a rough draft that connects downtown to the water and brings Squamish’s outdoor recreation into the heart of the community. The proposal includes a waterfront plaza and grass knoll at the south end of the property, with a bicycle pump track, picnic area and slacklines at the north end, district planner Elaine Naisby said.
Plans call for water access, with a possible canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard storage facility on the middle portion. The roof of the building could be used as a viewing platform, she noted.
District staff is also talking to a possible private partner to place a climbing boulder in O’Siyam Pavilion Park. The climbing structure would be designed to accommodate children on one side and have the ability to challenge skilled climbers on the other, with the option of hosting climbing competitions.
The concepts are laid out in a manner that allows them to evolve and be integrated into other developments, district planner Sabina Foofat said, noting most of the short-term proposals are on the south side. The district’s downtown transformation budget would cover the creation of the pump track and possibly the slackline park, she said, noting staff needed council’s direction on both projects.
Council waved the project forward. None of the elements are permanent, freeing up officials to come up with a long-term plan, Coun. Bryan Raiser said, noting it takes only minutes to flatten a dirt pump track.