In 2011, the ornamental pond in Westwood Park, which had been used as a wading pool, was identified by Alberta Health Services as not meeting current Alberta Public Health Act regulations. Currently, the ornamental pond is in operation with signage to discourage wading in the pond. However, wading has continued and Alberta Health Services has asked the City to look at options to make the pond safe for use.
In 2012, Westwood Community League surveyed the community and presented the City with its three preferences for the redevelopment of the site. In summary, these were:
- Convert the existing ornamental pond to a wading pool.
- Retain the northern portion of the existing ornamental pond as a reflective pond and install a spray deck at the southern portion of the pond.
- Retain the existing ornamental pond as a reflective pond and install a spray deck elsewhere on site.
These preferences formed the road map for the project team’s next steps. To gauge the viability of each option, FOCUS Corporation assessed the pond and surrounding park and examined case studies in other cities. Using this information and the identified project budget, FOCUS came up with a recommendation for Westwood Ornamental Pond’s redevelopment. The recommendation includes both a calm reflective space for ornamental water enjoyment as well as an interactive water feature within the footprint of the existing pond.
Based on this recommendation, two concept options were at an open house on June 23, 2014. Based on comments gathered at the open house and online, the concept options were further refined into the approved concept, which will again be further refined through the design phase of the project.
The approved concept envisions:
- A tranquil space with an ornamental fountain on the north end of the project area. This space will be designed to be used in both summer and winter and provide an idyllic setting for community league events.
- A spray deck at the south end of the project area with ground sprays that provide a playful environment to enjoy the water and adjacent grassy areas to sunbathe.
- A tranquil and accessible pathway through the project area that links the north and south ends of the park.
- A restored concrete path around the project area and restored concrete stairs leading to the community league facility.
- Unobstructed sightlines from the spray deck to the playground and fountain.
- Increased seating, including accessible picnic tables.
- Updated mechanical infrastructure to meet current standards. The existing concrete structure will be recycled and used as fill material for new amenities where possible.