On March 10, 2014, Surrey City Council approved plans for a new park near Hazelgrove Elementary School in East Clayton. ISL Engineering and Land Services (ISL) is managing this project and is providing an integrated multidisciplinary design, led by our Landscape Architecture group in Burnaby. A recent article in the Surrey Now newspaper includes quotes from Mayor Dianne Watts and Councillor Linda Hepner, who both speak very highly of the park plan produced by our integrated team.
The land allotted to Hazelgrove Park was designated within the East Clayton Neighbourhood Concept Plan (2003) and sits next to Hazelgrove Elementary School as well as a water reservoir facility. The park will be 4.2 hectares in size—making it the largest park in East Clayton—and will feature many amenities suitable for all ages with a special focus on engaging the youth in the community.
Because of its proximity to the water reservoir, ISL’s team pitched the idea of having the park express a water narrative, expounding a story about where water comes from, how it’s used and where it goes.
The adjacent reservoir highlights where water comes from. A wall of the structure will be used as an outdoor projection screen for community events. An animated projection showing the current water level in the reservoir is also being pursued. The splash pad will showcase how water is used on site and will feature many interactive play elements.
To show where the water goes, a bioswale in the park will capture the splash pad wastewater as well as stormwater runoff from surrounding hard surfaces. The bioswale will both detain and bioremediate this water through the use of reed beds—the splash pad water will be dechlorinated through this process.
A major part of this project was the public consultation and engagement sessions, facilitated by ISL. This park is highly anticipated by the community and the sessions were very well attended. To ensure that they reached all potential park user groups, ISL conducted two open houses that reached out to the entire neighbourhood.
In addition, a session was held at Youth Fest, a festival held each year featuring local youth bands, skateboarding and BMX demos, food trucks, free activities and sports tournaments. Another session was also held at the Hazelgrove Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee meeting to get the parents’ perspective. Youth engagement sessions were also held with two groups of grade 7 classes at Hazelgrove Elementary School. These sessions featured presentations, brainstorming exercises, question sheets and a map exercise in which students allocated amenities on a map of the planned park.
From these sessions, it was determined that the most popular features were a soccer field, washroom building, splash pad and playground. Youth favoured a parkour/climbing park and a BMX course. There was also strong community support for the retention and expansion of the existing on site forest grove. The parkour course stands out as a unique element—this will be just the second purpose-built parkour course in the Lower Mainland. Parkour, for those who don’t know, is a form of “street gymnastics” where fences, walls and other urban obstacles are used as climbing and vaulting elements. The sports has seen a huge rise in popularity over the last few years.
For more information about the parkour culture in Surrey, read this article in the Surrey Leader newspaper .
Now that the public consultation has been completed and a final park plan has been approved, construction is slated to begin in the summer of 2014 with the park expected to open in the summer of 2015. Councillor Linda Hepner, Chair of the Parks, Recreation and Sports Tourism Committee, was very pleased with the final park plan presented to City Council, stating unequivocally that it was “one of the most impressive park designs” the City of Surrey had ever seen. Read the full article here .
Washroom design and signage/wayfinding for Hazelgrove Park provided by: PUBLIC Architecture+ Communication
ISL's Landscape Architecture group in Burnaby is growing and is undertaking new, exciting projects! Stay tuned for new developments and visit our Landscape Architecture page to see more projects.