The City of Lethbridge has been successful in securing $375,000 in grant funding through the Government of Canada's Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) to construct a new Inclusive and Accessible Play Space in Galt Gardens that will add to community vibrancy and the vitality of downtown by fostering active, social, educational, inclusive and accessible play opportunities.
The CCRF is a two-year $500-million national infrastructure program meant to support communities across the country with projects that revitalize downtown cores and main streets, reinvent outdoor spaces, create green infrastructure and address accessibility of community space. PrairiesCan is administering the CCRF in Alberta.
Leveraging the exciting synergies created between Casa, Rotary Fountain, 3 Avenue Reconstruction, Festival Square and the pending SAAG expansion, the play space will act as a catalyst to attract residents and tourists to the core, support local shopping, enhance children's programming of the adjacent Southern Alberta Art Gallery and address a notable gap in recreation and play opportunities within a 10-minute walking distance of Downtown Lethbridge.
The project has an approved budget of $500,000 – 75 per cent of which ($375,000) is being funded by the CCRF grant. Lethbridge City Council approved the additional 25 per cent ($125,000) within Urban Core Public Realm Enhancements D-20 in the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program.
"This addition to a concentrated nucleus of redevelopment and vibrancy we are developing in the heart of Downtown Lethbridge is a great step forward to helping the public perception," says Andrew Malcolm, Urban Revitalization Manager. "Galt Gardens is the 'Central Park' of Lethbridge and is the primary downtown festival and events park in the city. We are thrilled for this funding to help provide a new daily use option that will bring enjoyment and fun to this important downtown park."
"Our government is making investments that transform public infrastructure into modern gathering places for residents and visitors of all ages through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund," said the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan. "Today's support to revitalize Galt Gardens in Lethbridge will help create an inclusive and accessible community space where everyone can gather and enjoy outdoor activities."
"Parks and public spaces across Alberta communities bring people together, attract visitors to downtown cores and help support countless small businesses," said the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance. "Today's investment in Galt Gardens will help support recovery in Lethbridge by creating more jobs and provide opportunities for residents and visitors to benefit from the local businesses and attractions that are at the heart of this community."
A community advisory committee, which includes representation from the Heart of Our City Committee, the Downtown BRZ, Casa, SAAG, Lethbridge Plays and the Rotary Club of Lethbridge, have been consulted for initial design ideas. Detailed design is underway, to be then followed by construction this summer and fall, with an opening date of Spring 2023.
More information including designs (when complete) is available at www.getinvolvedlethbridge.ca/ourdowntown
A short video can be viewed here.