council adopts river valley plan
reprinted from Red Deer
Express (Mark Weber) July 28, 2010
NEW PLAN - City council has adopted a trails and parks
planning tool, known as the River Valley & Tributaries Park
Concept Plan, which may one day see the Red Deer River known
as a 'municipal park'.
Tiffany Sigurdson, Red Deer Express
City Council adopted a trails and parks planning tool Monday night
in the form of the River Valley & Tributaries Park Concept Plan.
The long-term plan's purpose is to identify lands best suited for
potential trails and parks within the City of Red Deer's 'growth
Marking a collaboration between the City of Red Deer and Red Deer
County, one of the plan's 21 recommendations urges exploration of
one day even designating the Red Deer River a 'municipal park'.
Other recommendations include aggressively pursuing provincial and
federal funding, identifying parcels for land purchase and the
beginning of work with landowners and maximizing the use of
Environmental Reserve to acquire lands adjacent to rivers,
tributaries, lakes, sloughs, escarpments and other environmentally
"Parks and preservation planning for the City of Red Deer really
began in the late to mid-1970s with a plan that talked about the
Waskasoo Park System itself," said Trevor Poth, parks superintendent
for the City of Red Deer.
The purpose of this plan is to talk about where we are to date, but
also to look forward to a future vision with a focus on Red Deer
having a population of 300,000 people, he said.
"It really represents what our vision is for our future parks
Poth said to keep up the percentage of the City's land area at its
current level, as much as 2,394 hectares of new parkland would need
to be added to the Waskasoo Park system. Ultimately, he said the
goal is to establish a linear park system focused on the Red Deer
River, Blindman River, Piper Creek and Waskasoo Creek.
"The key to this plan is to tie all of those areas together into one
uniform parks system," he said, adding the area has a unique
ecosystem that he pointed out has been well protected over the past
"This is just an extension of that, and a huge future benefit for
Key principles that also guided stakeholders' formation of the plan
include following the river, connecting with trails, respecting
nature and 'mixing it up' -- working towards a balanced park system
with "lively populated places and quiet, solitary respites."
Councillors were impressed by what they heard.
"It helps to bring great tourism opportunities to the area," said
Cindy Jefferies. "More and more, people are looking for more active
holidays. The partnership with Red Deer County has also been great,
and this is a real positive thing for us to work on together. So
let's get on with it," she said.
Councillor Larry Pimm said currently, the Waskasoo trail system
means a great deal to local residents. Expansion of it only bodes
well for future generations, he said.
"To me, Waskasoo Park has been a great amenity for my family and I
hope my grandchildren will be able to take their grandchildren
through the additional areas and show them the wonderful things of
Meanwhile, City Council also approved the Environmental Master
Plan's Situation Assessment -- the first phase of the plan that will
guide Red Deer's environmental future over the next 25 years.
Core directions identified to achieve the vision including
'Encourage, Educate, Engage, Enable, Expect', prioritizing growth to
create vital, compact communities and protecting and enhancing green
"It was so important that Red Deerians offered their opinions and
ideas on how Red Deer can continue to not only improve its rich
natural environment but also minimize our ecological footprint,"
said Lauren Maris, environmental program specialist with the City of
For more about the Environmental Master Plan, check out
Red Deer River Valley and Tributaries Park
Concept Plan Part 1
Red Deer River Valley and Tributaries Park
Concept Plan Part 2
News articles related to regional trail development including
Commentary: Preservation Opportunity Not to be
Lost (Innisfail Province & Red
Deer Advocate June 2015)
News article: Red Deer County seeks partners
to afford bridge access
(Mountain View Gazette Apr.2012)
News article: County council looks at bridge
as tourist attraction
(Red Deer Advocate April 2012)
News article: Plans for Mintlaw Bridge waiting
on public feedback
(Mountain View Gazette Feb.2012)
News article: Building trails to paradise
(Red Deer Advocate March 2009)
News article: Clearwater County calls on
province for advice about trail
(Red Deer Advocate April 2008)
Editorial: On the trail of a worthy plan
(Red Deer Advocate Sept.2005)