Committee approves $250Okay for southwest Calgary outside exercise hub


Construction drawings for the Coach Hill / Patterson Heights outdoor activity center. SCREENSHOT FROM THE PRESENTATION

Two communities in Southwest Calgary took the first steps toward promoting outdoor recreation, but have come under scrutiny for the city’s funding process.

The Coach Hill/Patterson Heights Community Association (CHPH) applied for $250,000 from the Council Community Fund to support Phase 2 of their outdoor activity center. The project is touted as a multi-purpose, multi-season facility that is free to all visitors.

Phase 2 of the project design features a multi-season sports field and an outdoor gathering area with tables, a fire pit and a seating area. The phase 1 community garden is already underway and is expected to be completed this fall. Phase 3 envisages a natural playground.

CHPH Vice President Talena Klypak said there are no municipal recreation facilities west of the Sarcee Trail. The management report says there are none north of Bow Trail.

“It’s a lot of money and it’s absolutely necessary for our project,” Klypak told council members at Wednesday’s executive committee meeting.

Klypak said securing this funding gives them access to funding from other government agencies and the private sector.

She also said they received money from the nearby West Spring/Cougar Ridge Board because the facility will help serve those communities. Within the four communities, Klypak said the hub will serve 25,000 residents.

“This recovery space will be critical to mental health resilience by fostering community bonds,” she said.

CHPH communications director Voula Martin also said they incorporate universal design elements without even knowing it. They wanted wider pathways, multiple entry points, and no tripping hazards.

“We just had a genuine desire to make this a space that is healing and flexible and could be used by people of all abilities,” she said.

“And most importantly, we wanted to make sure we could adapt it to the changing needs of the community.”

finance inequality?

The project has been in the works for five years and has a total budget of US$706,000.

District 14 district. Peter Demong said there are many parts of Calgary without community organizations, centers or recreational facilities.

“This is not an isolated case. It’s normal in the rest of the city too,” he said.

“I think the question is, why would we put money into this instead of a community center … Oh, say South Central or North Central or somewhere else?”

The answer was simple: We ask, the group said.

RELATED: Hawkwood welcomes public to new outdoor recreation facility

However, with only a limited pool of available funds ($285,000), other council members feared this motion would essentially exhaust him. Admin said they are requesting more funding as part of the 2023-2026 budget.

count. Andre Chabot said there are many community organizations in his community that could use this type of funding. He said they need a clear way of supporting other communities in this way.

“It’s difficult for us as a council to support a motion for a single community when there are so many communities across the city that have similar needs and desires,” he said.

Other Council members also suggested that there should be a better process to consider support from all communities.

Bad process, good suggestion

district 3 district. Jasmine Mian was torn on the subject. On the one hand, she wanted to support the work of the Association of Municipalities, but felt that it should make investment decisions for the whole city. She said this somewhat bypassed that process.

“If my community organizations knew they could come and set us up like this, it would be their turn,” she said.

“For some people who are watching and going to be like, ‘Hey, I didn’t even know we could do this, and now all the money is gone.'”

District 11 district. Kourtney Penner said that while the current process may have flaws when it comes to equitable investment, this project meets the requirements for funding.

“Within the existing framework, I’m happy to support this motion as it meets all the criteria because the community is ready,” she said.

“You have done your job.”

In the end, the committee voted 11-1 to send the funding proposal to the Calgary City Council general meeting on July 26. It will be on the approval agenda.

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