Parks, Playgrounds & Trails – The Necessities for a Community

Parks, Playgrounds & Trails – The Necessities for a Community


If we've learned anything over the last two years, it's that our children need easier access to free recreational activities within their own neighbourhoods.

Families are no longer interested in buying homes in communities without walking access to parks, playgrounds, and trails.

And we don’t blame them.

Not only do these parks, playgrounds, and trails benefit our children, but if we’re making them accessible for kids, then we’re making them accessible for seniors

Life is a journey, and we must design our communities to reflect all milestones along the way.

Recently, the Town of Paradise put out a call for bids to repurpose and redevelop Elizabeth Park, and we were fortunate enough to be chosen for the work.

There is a river which flows down the centre of Elizabeth Park, and before our work, there were a series of open spaces along this river.

As soon as we saw these open spaces of land, we knew there was a huge opportunity to try and approach to urban planning that no one had ever done before in Newfoundland.

We called in the big guns

First, we took community members and Mayor Dan Bobbett and walked the community, the streets, and the open spaces of Elizabeth Park.

We provided feedback to officials in the community on what this could become, but what we were really interested in was what their ideas were.

We didn’t want to tell them what their community should look like. We wanted the community members to tell us what it should look it.

The key was their vision for the site and how it would be used.

So, we got the most opinionated members of the

community involved… The kids!

Teachers at Elizabeth Park Elementary School were provided with background information and community maps to share with their students.

Once students knew the layout of their community, they were asked to draw their “dream” neighbourhood, no holding back.

The kids got totally immersed in the activity, and what you will see in the near future in Elizabeth Park is an amalgamation of all of these dreams.

The community is now designed to have a different theme in each area, encouraging community members to go from one park to another. Some areas focus on nature, others on play, and some on science.

Here is what Lisa Niblock, Chief Administrative Office

of the Town of Paradise had to say:

“Through a formal report and presentation to Council and the Paradise Executive, Tract presented their recommendations which were overwhelmingly supported by Council. Tract’s methodology to engage residents and their ideas of how to improve the area left Council and staff energized and excited for the future improvements to the area. Tract has exceeded Council and Staff’s expectations and desired outcome of this project. The recommendations will form a multi-year phased implementation plan, for use of spaces that are unique and outside the box, while still being reflective of the Town’s culture and history.”

To learn more about this new approach to community planning and how it can benefit your town, simply contact us today!

Thanks for reading,

Neil Dawe, FCSLA, BD Ep


Tract Consulting Inc.