Blakeburn Lagoons Park

Blakeburn Lagoons

When Blakeburn Lagoons Park opens in 2018, it will be a peaceful oasis where people can go to commune with nature and experience a functioning wildlife habitat.

The public was invited to review the preliminary design plan for Blakeburn Lagoons Park at an information session held on Tuesday July 19, 2016. The information session was an opportunity to see how the public feedback collected was incorporated into the preliminary design for the new passive park to be created in northeast Port Coquitlam.

Project Status Update

This summer we worked on the earthworks and site grading to prepare the lagoons for the park features and the plant installation this fall. The following work has been completed:

  • The site has been cleared and grubbed.
  • Soil amender brought to the site and mixed with native materials and spread around the site.
  • The lagoons have been deepened.
  • Earthworks and site grading is complete and the site has been graded to its final elevation.
  • Storm sewer from Riverside Drive has been tied in to outlet to the lagoons
  • Culverts have been installed to link the two ponds.
  • The pond outlet structure has been installed.

The installation of plants has now started but was slightly delayed as a heavy rainfall was needed. The following work will take place over the fall:

  • Completion of viewing platforms.
  • Completion of the trails around the park.
  • Installation of wooden fence around the ponds.
  • Plantings (over 60 different variety of plants, over 100,000 plants throughout the site)

The park will remain closed over the winter to give the plants an opportunity to root without public disturbance.  The grand opening of the park will be in 2018.

Design Concepts

Two park design concepts were unveiled for public feedback at an Open House on May 11, 2016.

Following public consultation this spring, the City of Port Coquitlam is moving forward with Concept #2, which focuses on enhancing the wildlife habitat and ecological function of the 11-hectare (27-acre) park that is being constructed on the site of two former waste settling ponds in the city’s northeast sector.

The final design reflects feedback from 518 survey respondents and more than 150 people who attended an open house in May. Sixty-five per cent of the survey respondents preferred a wildlife-oriented design over a more traditional people-oriented park design, with the majority of respondents indicating they would like to use the park for walking or running, viewing nature and bird watching.

Survey respondents were also asked if they supported using some space in the new park to recognize prevention of violence against women. After taking into account both the responses and written comments, a reflective space has been designated that will provide park visitors an opportunity to reflect, heal and honour any person or circumstance of their choice.

The contract has been awarded to Wester Watershed Ltd who will begin work in April 2017.

Overview

The grant funds are enabling the City to clean up the site and transform it into a natural destination the whole community can enjoy, while easing the burden on taxpayers.

  • The project includes rehabilitating and reshaping two abandoned settling ponds located on an Blakeburn11-hectare (27.2-acre) piece of overgrown, unused City property in the Riverwood neighbourhood.
  • Planning and design work will be completed in 2016. Project completion is anticipated by the end of 2017 (see timeline below).
  • The multi-million dollar project is funded with $1.9 million from the federal-provincial Small Communities Fund program, with the remainder from City parkland and development cost charge reserve funds.

The grant funds are enabling the City to clean up the site and transform it into a natural destination the whole community can enjoy, while easing the burden on taxpayers.

Background

The site has been closed to the public since the mid-1970s, when the two sanitary waste settling ponds (totaling seven hectares, or 14.8 acres in size) were decommissioned.

The City considered developing the unused site into a passive community park in the late 1990s, but the project was deferred due to the high cost of rehabilitation work, including removing the hazardous substances in the soil.

The project was included in the 2006 Parks, Recreation and Culture Plan as a future passive park, pending funding.

Park Features

  • Looped walking trails throughout the park,
  • A reflective space identified by a plaque as a place to reflect, heal and honour, with seating, planting and southwest views of the lagoons,
  • Viewing platforms and wildlife hides at key vantage points,
  • Different types of vegetation (woodland, grassland and wetland) to provide diverse wildlife habitat,
  • Wetland islands primarily dedicated to wildlife habitat, and
  • Vegetative buffers to protect environmentally sensitive areas from public access.

The dikes surrounding the former settling ponds have caused stagnant water, shallow lagoon levels, algae growth, neighbourhood flooding and other problems. By addressing these issues, the project will:

  • improve the habitat for wildlife, birds and aquatic species on the site, and
  • help to manage stormwater runoff in the Riverwood neighbourhood.

Project Activities and Timeline

Preparation for the project includes research and planning for:

  • Site remediation
  • Infrastructure removal and construction
  • Habitat restoration
  • Landscaping and park features

Please note the following schedule may change due to unforeseen logistical and weather issues.

Contact

Engineering & Public Works Department
Lee-Ann Truong, P. Eng
Manager of Capital Projects
Tel.: 604.927.5327
Email: truongl@portcoquitlam.ca