74 acres, 4 kilometres of pathway, 1,300 trees, and endless opportunities. The City of Lethbridge’s Legacy Park has something for everyone.
Guided by its mantra “to be a healthy, attractive and economically viable City”, the Lethbridge, AB City Council, has given its residents a Park that incorporates sports, festivals, leisure, and nature. Legacy Park gives new meaning to the concept of Park, with enough amenities to fill this page.
In 2009, Lethbridge Parks began identifying the desired amenities and features to be included within a new park for Lethbridge residents. Legacy Park’s incredible features were designed after an extensive public process involved residents across the City guided by a Public Advisory Committee to first identify all of the desired elements that could be included in the park. A second process was used to rank the identified components or features in order of importance or priority.
“This was truly a collaboration with City residents and reflected the desires of the community for what was to be included,” says David Ellis, Parks Manager for the City of Lethbridge. The park was designed through an innovative community engagement process and a technical evaluation of current and future recreational needs. The engagement process was inclusive, enabling feedback as the basis for discussion with the project team, and included input from the public.
This extended to the naming of the Park. After an open period for residents to suggest names, Legacy Park was ultimately chosen to collectively recognize the contributions of past, current and future community builders rather than naming it after a single person or event in the City’s history.
“The park itself was always viewed as being planned and designed by the community, for the community and included as many things as could fit in it,” says Ellis.
Located at 400 Blackwolf Blvd N, north of Uplands, the $24 million park will be a jewel of the City’s crown upon full completion in 2021. With construction ongoing in stages, residents are already enjoying the vast amenities at the park.
Some of the natural elements of the Park include three ponds, wetlands, and a running creek through the property. An outdoor boardwalk provides access to a wetland . For warmer months, multiple sports courts will entice people to come visit, including basketball, tennis, pickle ball and an outdoor challenge course, where people can come down and challenges their dexterity, flexibility, and fitness. The Park also includes a brand-new skate park for the City’s growing skateboarding fans.
Two major attractions in the Park are the outlook and amphitheatre, where visitors get a great view of the park and where future festivals and events will be hosted. This area looks onto one of the ponds as well as the sledding hill. “The park has something for most everyone, and a few firsts for offerings in Lethbridge,” says Ellis. “These include an adventure playground, pickle ball courts, gardens, and outdoor performance stage.”
“Our focus is on the expanded opportunities for recreation, socialization and community bonding because of the Park,” says Ellis. “Parks have always been people places or bumping spaces and the opportunity to engage with the community is expanded. Of course, the economic impacts can be measured with home sales around the park. One adjacent community has used the park to market having the park as a back yard.”
Ellis says that community involvement in the Park’s design from concept development is very unique. “Both the skate park and spray park were designed with stakeholders from the community on the steering committee,” he continues. “In the case of the skate park, we hired a design-build firm and they worked with the local skate club to work out the design.”
Investment in Legacy Park development is an investment in the future of Lethbridge, says Ellis. “I believe the park will serve the community very well for the next 100 years. The variety of offerings and the space use will evolve as the park matures. There is space for future creation of an indoor park / café that will likely take the form of a partnership with a business. The park really enhances the neighborhoods that are adjacent to it and is a draw for people across the City.”