City gets award for park design

The city team that worked on the George Little Park Spirit Square revitalization project were recently awarded for the park's sharp design.

Autumn Keck and Krista Peden enjoy their lunch hour in the sun in the George Little Park in Terrace yesterday

Autumn Keck and Krista Peden enjoy their lunch hour in the sun in the George Little Park in Terrace yesterday

TERRACE’S George Little Park has caught international eyes by winning an award for its design.

The award was granted to the city’s development services department and was presented to city planner David Block at a conference last week held in Portland, Oregon.

The International Making Cities Liveable award recognized the team responsible for revitalizing George Little Park and making it a place that brings people in the community together.

It was a surprise to him,” said city official Marvin Kwiatkowski about Block being presented with the award at the conference.

The project was a special exhibit and won an award for “Successful Designs for Healthy Inclusive Communities” under the Urban Plazas category,” said Kwiatkowski. “David was the team planner.”

Those who worked on the project included members of the city’s development services department and consulting company Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg.

The public participation was huge,” said Kwiatkowski. “We had a fairly large stakeholder and community engagement even from the concept design stage.”

The revitalization project took place in 2009/2010, and came with a $1.2 million price tag.

A federal grant of $600,000 and  provincial one of $300,000 helped pay for the work.

The work involved tearing down an old, closed-in bandshell that was in the middle of the park and replacing it with one of a more open design, a gathering space, lighting and new pathways.

The Skeena Valley Farmers Market was also moved from an adjacent vacant lot to the parking area immediately adjacent to the new bandshell, turning it into a place where hundreds of people congregate on Saturdays in the spring, summer and fall.

A seniors fitness area was also built as a separate project behind the library and was included in the George Little Park’s overall revitalization.

The award submission came with specific criteria, and Block submitted the project under the urban plazas category.

The requirements were that the space bring together various groups in public socially, be located in a mixed use area with a residential population within 10 minutes walking distance, be multifunctional and able to accommodate various activities and events and be used consistently.