Central Park: Fairview community park delayed until summer

Work to turn a tiny triangle of land in Fairview into a community park has been delayed by several months.

Initially the park board said work on the park, located at the corner of West Sixth and Fir Street, would be completed some time this spring.

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But now, the board says it’s expected a contractor will be hired in March and construction should be completed by the end of the summer.

The project, estimated to cost about $400,000, was developed to create accessible green space for the benefit of residents and workers in the area.

When the property was purchased by the City of Vancouver in 2001, it was discovered the land was contaminated with zinc above parkland standards and was considered an area of potential environmental concern. The property was leased to False Creek Collision until 2011, and upon termination of that agreement the board took possession with plans to replace it with a park.

Meanwhile, an additional environmental assessment found zinc in the soil and an underground solvent storage tank. That contamination has since been removed and replaced with clean soil.

Just how the park will look was decided via public consultation and some highlights include sun lounging chairs, an orchard, wood decking with train rails, and a natural play area.

Marathon top 10
The BMO Vancouver Marathon has been named one of the world’s best course locations for 2014 by Forbes magazine.

The annual Forbes Travel Guide list was released Jan. 29, and the Vancouver event ranked right up there with such prestigious courses as the Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon and the Great Wall Marathon.

As part of its rankings, Forbes acknowledged the diverse, scenic route of the BMO Vancouver Marathon, which includes snow-capped mountain views and cherry blossom trees — and the fact 70 per cent of the course is along the shoreline.

The recognition by Forbes is another indicator the BMO Vancouver Marathon is gaining awareness and popularity among runners around the world. Known as one of Canada’s oldest and largest running events, the Vancouver marathon celebrates the 25th anniversary of the half marathon and 43rd running of the full marathon May 4. Registration for the events is expected to close April 4.

Nelson garden expansion
At its Feb. 17 meeting, the park board is expected to approve the expansion of the Nelson Park Community Garden to include an extra 450 square-metres, for a total of 940.

The expanded area will allow for 30 garden beds for users of all abilities and ages, as well as a children’s section next to the adjacent Lord Roberts Annex school and daycare, food-bearing trees, pollinator gardens and new seating.

Besides the existing community garden, Nelson Park includes a fenced dog park, children’s play area, passive recreation spaces and extensive seating. The long-awaited washroom is expected to be installed this spring. If approved, the garden expansion will be adjacent to the fenced dog park, seating, pathways and Lord Roberts Annex school.

The park board will provide some assistance in getting the garden established, including the removal of sod, installation of drainage and pathway materials, extension of the water hook up, provisions of the first year of compost, and a supply of food-bearing trees.

The gardeners will be responsible for all other costs, governance, maintenance and operations.

sthomas@vancourier.com

twitter.com/sthomas10

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