Picking up where we left off, we'll take a look at the children's water play area:
Its a solid facility, motion activated, I think, either that or push button. This splash pad design only runs when kids want it to. It was actually quite busy w/2 families making use of it when I toured, I waited for an opening so as not to infringe on privacy.
To the north, there are some picnic tables, and then this:
The idea, the signage indicates, is a Butterly Garden. I find this one really odd. I've never seen a design for one based on top of a concrete pad. I wonder if this had been done to be something else and this was a change of plan....hmm?
Regardless, I'm fine with the idea, but evidence suggests it is not being actively maintained at this point.
Several of the planters look like this:
There was one really nice planter:
The white flowers at the front are the native Canada Anemone; and the short pink ones at the back are also native, Wild Geranium. The purple ones appear to be a non-native, European Columbine. I don't know why you wouldn't finish the thought by using the native one instead. Though they are pretty.
Moving north east, we see the park path, the only park path, winds its way out to Millwood, mid-block:
Its asphalt, its in ok'ish shape, odd that the path has no seats beside it, but the only thing that I want to nitpick is the entrance itself...
My usual complaints, no signage, no seats, no entry landscpaing. That said, it functions, and at least you can see into the park and make out the direction of the playground. But I still find it really odd they place an entrance mid-block while failing to have entrances near the corners or other spots where point of entry is, and was more likely.
At the north-eastern portion of the park we find a very large tennis court complex with six courts.
The courts themselves were in good condition and all were in use as I passed by, can't ask for much better, except maybe fixing the rusty fencing....but I'm being fussy now....
South of the tennis courts is a baseball diamond; this is listed as a class A facility (meaning pretty top notch), the City's only higher level of rating is 'premier' which would be a stadium in the case of baseball.
The diamond was in-use, the facility (turf, diamond, lights) all seemed in good condition, but the fence is beginning to rust.
Bonus points for the City Parks staffer who thought to put a drinking fountain next to where to where people are playing sports; - 2 points for the fact there is no pathway to it and it would not be considered accessible for anyone with a mobility aid for that reason (who might be watching their grand kid play, for instance)
Between the diamond and the children's play facilities is a open space and picnic area respectively, with a washroom complex anchoring the south-central portion of the park:
The above has a lot of exposed soil, partly a function of heavy shade and not completely avoidable, though a clear pathway would reduce trampling, and planting some shade-friendly native plants in pockets might be preferable to sun-loving grass.
The washrooms can be seen here at the south end of the open space, there has been extensive damage here to the turf. I'm not sure why. I examined aerial photos from the last several years and see the condition getting steadily worse.
Perhaps @Johnny Au
or another local could contribute insight. Suffice to say, I think the damage should be repaired or the space set up for an alternative use.
The Washrooms were broadly in good condition and showed some quality of design. However, the sinks appear to be original and the lighting is on its last legs, despite fresh paint, the washrooms would benefit from a refurb.
Adjacent to, and south-east from the washroom entrance, we another 'desire line' point of entry to the park. A formal pathway from this area into the park does not currently exist, one should be introduced.
That wraps our tour of the park, so I'll offer an overall commentary and my thoughts on needed investments.
The park is very popular and that speaks well of it, the playground and music garden and excellent facilities though they are aging and will need some maintenance sooner than later.
The Butterfly garden should probably be re-thought, it seemed poorly maintained over all, and frankly a tad peculiar. I think it might make sense to put it in-ground, in full sun, near the washroom with 100% native plants that can largely self-maintain, if the amenity were retained.
The sports facilities are mostly in good condition, but their fencing is aging and requires replacement, the washroom building like wise needs new lighting and plumbing fixtures and if not currently winterized, it might make sense to do that at the same time.
Comprehensive replacement of park benches with a uniform style would be nice, some turf maintenance, total replacement of pathways and lighting is not required at this time, based on their condition, but there is certainly room for more attractive materials and fixtures.
Finally, the pathway system clearly needs to be added to/improved in at least three locations to address desire lines and to make one drinking fountain accessible.
In the context of an under-invested in park system in need of lots of work, this park can't be top-of-the-list, but in the context of a properly funded department, there is some work in need of doing.
Edit to add:
Back-of-the-envelope costing for investments:
Washroom refurb $100,000-$500,000 (depending on whether one winterizes)
Pathways $150,000 - $2,000,000 (basic add-ons vs total reconstruction with better material)
Turf Maintenance $15,000-$30,000
Sports facilities new fencing. $25,000-$75,000 (depends on whether post replacement is required)
Relocate Butterfly Garden - $20,000
Minor Landscaping enhancements/new signage - $30,000
Total $340,000 - ~ $2,700,000