Out of doors recreation in Ward eight

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With summer being here, I thought I’d take the opportunity to highlight some of the outdoor recreation opportunities that we have right in Station 8.

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Heritage Hills has Sherwood Park’s first year-round off-leash dog park in the neighborhood. This was created when the two seasonal schools closed with the construction of Heritage Hills School. It wasn’t planned to be permanent, but the first day the fence was put up and I saw it, I went and started the process of making it a permanent feature. Other recreational activities on Heritage Drive include a pump track for children’s bikes, an outdoor ice rink and a three-hole disc golf course.

If you walk, run or bike south along the Heritage Trail, you will traverse the Heritage Hills Wetlands. I walked the trails in the early hours and met some bird watchers and saw many different types of wildlife. There are different trails with different surface materials that you can use and link in the wetlands.

There are several hiking trails with different surface materials that you can use and connect in the Heritage Hills Wetlands. photo supplied

The county created a cycling map that includes a 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) bike loop called “Something Fishy.” Don’t forget to ring your bell when cycling the loop, there are a lot of pedestrians and dogs on the trails. Visit strathcona.ca/trails for more information. You can also pick up printed copies of the trail guides at the information desk in the community center.

The newest recreation facility for Ward 8 is the McPherson Park Spray Deck. The spray deck was built west of the playground on Regency Drive. The spray deck is powered by solar panels, has 14 gargoyles and the park includes a portable washroom.

Ward 8 includes the parishes of Forest Greens and Craigavon; Strathcona Athletic Park (SAP) is located between these two districts. There is often a football or baseball game going on and there are many other users of the running track facilities and open fields.

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A new outdoor activity is the SAP Skate Spot. Accessible via Strathcona County’s main trail system, it is ideal for people of all ages who are new to skateboarding or want to improve their scooter skills. The components are constructed so that there is enough flat space leading to and from each component to accommodate one skater at a time.

In the summer of 2022, the county will erect a new concrete slab at a new location in SAP (northwest of the main parking lot) that will be the permanent home for the Skate Spot. During construction of the new concrete slab, the existing skate park elements will remain open for use at their current location on Colwill Boulevard.

If you enjoy playing basketball, you’ll find outside baskets at FR Haythorne and Strathcona Christian Academy secondary schools, and on the paved outside lane at SAP.

Station 8 is also home to four community gardens. The first facility is at Bev Facey High School. The county’s community gardening program was created to allow for the creation of more locally run gardens. The other three are located at Foxboro Lake, Heritage Point, and Craigavon ​​Park. For more information about the program, visit strathcona.ca/agriculture-environment/urban-agriculture/community-gardens.

As we all enjoy the beauty of Station 8, please think of the residents who thrive on these amazing amenities. Be proud of your community and together we can make it even better.

Katie Berghofer is a second term councilwoman representing Ward 8 in Strathcona County. To sign up for their e-newsletter online, visit strathcona.ca/ward8.