A new tennis court, a basketball and street hockey surface, an outdoor bouldering wall, a dog beach, a tribute to Whistlers founding residents, and a parking lot extension are just some of the ideas being proposed for the new addition to Alpha Lake Park in Creekside.
The land was acquired after a 2002 rezoning of the Kerfoot property on Lakeside Road that borders the eastern side of the park boundary. The total size of the acquired lands is 1.28 acres (0.49 hectares), substantially increasing the size of Alpha Lake Park. The current size of the park is five acres including the forest, with just three acres developed.
That site will be developed in late summer, once the public open house process is completed and council gives the project its final approval.
The municipality has budgeted $154,500 this year for developing the park area, and there may be potential to go beyond that with the support of the community. Residents in the area will receive a mailout in the coming weeks informing them of the project, and inviting them to give their feedback. Open house meetings will also be announced shortly.
"Everything is wide open for discussion at this point. This is our vision of how the park might look but nothing is set in stone, were wide open to ideas," said RMOW parks planner Kevin McFarland.
With huge crowds packing Whistlers park system in the summer months and a growing number of hotel rooms and residences to the south of the village, there is a need for more park space. Adding 1.2 acres will grow Alpha Lake by almost a third.
"Weve known for quite some time that more parks, especially water access parks were really needed. Theres a lot of people using Rainbow (Park), Lakeside (Park), Wayside (Park), Lost Lake (Park) and Alpha Lake Park, so anything we can do to open them up a little more is a good thing," said McFarland.
The existing tennis court will be moved along the property line towards Lake Placid Road, beside an optional hard court for basketball and ball hockey.
There is also a plan to add about a dozen parking spaces, while creating a new exit to Lake Placid.
In the existing park, planners are rethinking the kids' play area. The wood play structure requires a lot of expensive upkeep, but costs could go down if a new roof is added. In addition, the attached clubhouse has been used from time to time as staff housing, and changes will be made to ensure that people dont live in the structure.
A dog swimming area could also be created along the Valley Trail that runs along the west side of the lake.
The municipality is currently looking at plans to expand the Valley Trail system from Alpha Lake Park to Function Junction along the west side of Alpha Lake.