One of Coquitlam’s oldest and most popular parks is about to get a long-awaited refresh.
And, this summer and fall, the city will reach out to the public to help shape the 20-year blueprint for Blue Mountain Park.
Monday, the city’s council-in-committee reviewed the master planning process for the 19.9-acre green space, which is located in the Austin Heights neighbourhood and includes the Coquitlam Little League (CLL) baseball yard, a playground, water spray pad, wading pool, picnic shelters, tennis courts, Scout Hall and cenotaph.
But because of their age, several amenities will need to go — among them, the park washrooms/concession building, wading pool, spray deck and Scout Hall.
Coun. Chris Wilson said Scout Hall has had “an amazing history of community use for so long” and pressed council to replace the hall with a multipurpose building to ease the childcare and service group crunch for space.
As well, as part of the study, city staff will look at moving the cenotaph to a more central place in the park to handle larger crowds.
Jonathan Jackson, Coquitlam’s acting park planning and design manager, told the committee that the first public outreach will focus on developing the community’s values and goals for the park; in the fall, the public will be consulted on the vision, concept and land-use plan.
The master plan splits the site improvements into three zones:
- Zone 1, The Field: On the west side of the park, city staff proposed to keep the CLL diamond and add gateway elements, more signs and new paved paths around the area plus public realm updates along Blue Mountain Street
- Zone 2, The Core: With the spray pad and wading pool eventually out, city staff are eyeing the central area for an enhanced water play station as well as updated washrooms, a new public plaza with the cenotaph, new infrastructure to host events, youth amenities, new lit paved paths, more picnic areas and furnishings, improved gateway elements and better signs
- Zone 3, The Grove: The eastern part of the park, which includes dozens of conifer trees, may have new lit paved paths, new gathering spaces, more picnic areas, one or two more tennis/pickleball courts, better gateway elements, more signs and artwork
Coun. Brent Asmundson said he’d like to see more amenities that would serve multi-cultural groups while Coun. Bonita Zarrillo urged for more inclusive and accessible amenities in the redeveloped park.
And Coun. Trish Mandewo asked city staff to ensure teens are represented in the consultation as “youth have a different way of responding,” she said, referring to the traditional outreach methods of municipalities.
Jackson said residents living within a 15-minute walk to Blue Mountain Park — within a 1.2-km radius — will be directly notified about the city outreach; city advisory committees, user groups, School District 43 (SD43) and Kwikwetlem First Nation will also be asked to weigh in.
The draft master plan is set to go before city council for consideration next spring.
Approved in 2017, the city’s Blue Mountain Park master plan process was delayed as SD43 prepared for its Education Learning Centre, which is now being built nearby on its Winslow site, and for the future redevelopment of Como Lake middle; the COVID-19 pandemic also put the master plan on hold last year, and in October, council shifted the earmarked $2 million for the study to the Coquitlam Crunch southern extension instead to relieve pressure on the northern Crunch trail.
Dating back to the 1930s, Blue Mountain Park currently serves about 15,000 residents within a 15-minute walking distance.
In the next 20 years, another 5,000 residents are expected to call Austin Heights home while an additional 15,000 residents will move into the Burquitlam-Lougheed neighbourhood, to the west of the park.