Gaigas build ‘pocket park’ for uptown

Uptown Port Alberni is about to get a bit more beautiful with the construction of a brand new pocket park at Third Avenue and Angus Street

An artist’s rendering shows the design of Central Park

Uptown Port Alberni is about to get a bit more beautiful with the construction of a brand new pocket park on the north-east corner of Angus Street and Third Avenue.

Formerly the site of the old Beaufort Hotel, the lot has been vacant for a number of years. Stacey Gaiga is taking the lot in a completely different direction.

“We’re in the process of transforming it into public green space as a pocket park,” Gaiga told city council on Monday night about Port Alberni’s new ‘Central Park.’

“It will help contribute to some of the Uptown revitalization efforts and initiatives that have been ongoing for a number of years.”

While the park will be small, its benefits will reach far outside its boundaries, she sad.

“Small parks can increase a sense of community by drawing people to spend time in a specific area,” said Gaiga.

“The value of nearby properties can increase and even attract investment.”

She’s been thrilled by the upwelling of community support she’s received so far, whether it be excitement on the streets or the monetary and in-kind donations from the city and local business.

Citing a study out of South Carolina, Gaiga said that “attractively maintained small and medium parks have a positive influence on neighbouring property values.”

Keeping the importance of good maintenance in mind, Gaiga said that the park will be mostly concrete with shrubs and greenery in planters.

“It’s a very contemporary design with raised flower beds that will have tree shrubs and flowers,” said Gaiga.

The seating within the park will be concrete surrounded by wood.

“There will be a central water feature,” said Gaiga of the five-jet fountain planned for the park.

“The water can be programmed to dance and it lights up at night.”

The fountain won’t be the only part of the park to light up.

“We’re going to have directional lighting shining up all the trees as well,” said Gaiga.

She originally planned on having the park flood lit but realized that it could overpower a feature of the water fountain.

“I didn’t even know there were 16,000,000 colours in the world but apparently this fountain is capable of 16,000,000 colours so we wanted to make sure that the fountain colours would be visible in the evening.”

While the park is for all the community’s residents, Gaiga hopes that it will especially provide a place for youth to spend time—both for leisure and activities.

“I really want to encourage the youth in this town to utilize the park for philanthropic  purposes,” Gaiga said, citing fundraising efforts such as tag days, ice cream and lemonade stands and even band practices that could take place in the park.

“I want them to come up with ideas about how they can utilize the park for something constructive. Lots of children are good activists.”

Starting young, Gaiga believes, is key to encouraging selfless behaviour in Port Alberni’s youth.

“Children can learn to be benevolent and give to others and not always rely on others but have others rely on them.”

Gaiga hopes to have the majority of the park complete in the fall.

City council authorized staff to enter into a five-year agreement for maintenance of the park.

Just Posted

Learn the basics of publishing at Port Alberni workshop

George Opacic of Rutherford Press will present keys to the professional side of publishing

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

Septic truck rolls over without a spill west of Port Alberni

Single vehicle crash took place on Klekhoot Crescent

Vancouver Island partners sign hull design contract for floating LNG project

Steelhead LNG and partner Huu-ay-aht First Nations say the agreement was signed in Barcelona

RAISE A READER 2018: Port Alberni popup book event a success

First Book Canada brought 16,000 books for distribution in B.C.-wide event

Sproat Lake hosts fall dragon boat regatta

Port Alberni’s Sproat Ness Dragons earn third place

The longest week: Carolinas worn out by Florence

Frustration and sheer exhaustion are building as thousands of people wait to go home seven days after the storm began battering the coast.

Vancouver councillors move ahead with policy for duplexes on detached home lots

Mayor Gregor Robertson says the decision is another step toward adding homes in the city for the so-called “missing middle.”

Canada’s goal is to play in a medal game at World Cup in Spain

The 2014 women’s world basketball championships were a coming out party for Canada.

World Anti-Doping Agency reinstates Russia

There was no mention of Russia publicly accepting a state-sponsored conspiracy to help its athletes win Olympic medals by doping.

Prolific offender arrested in Nanaimo after sleeping in stolen car

Jackson Filgate, 34, of Nanaimo, faces stolen property, drug charges after being arrested Sept. 18

Nanaimo’s Tilray pot stock continues rising, firm now worth more than $21 billion US

The B.C. company’s shares have risen more than 1,000 % since its initial public offering in July

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

Most Read