Construction to begin soon on new play space in Galt Gardens
Parks and public spaces bring people together, attract people to downtown cores and provide opportunities for residents and visitors to benefit from nearby local businesses and attractions.
When it opens later this year, the new Galt Gardens Inclusive and Accessible Play Space will also address a notable gap in recreation and play opportunities within a 10-minute walking distance of Downtown Lethbridge.
Construction will begin soon, with fencing set to be put up in early June. This new amenity, which will be located immediately adjacent to the Rotary Centennial Fountain in the southeast corner of the four-hectare park, will consist of inclusive and accessible play equipment, rubber surfacing, plaza space and park furniture. It is tentatively scheduled to open in mid-September.
As Galt Gardens is the primary downtown festival and events park in Lethbridge, this project will add to community vibrancy and the vitality of downtown by fostering active, social, educational, inclusive and accessible play opportunities. It will contribute to the attraction of more families to events in the park as well as utilize the space daily throughout the year.
The Galt Gardens Inclusive and Accessible Play Space will also continue to leverage exciting synergies created between Festival Square, 3 Avenue Reconstruction, Casa, the Rotary Fountain, new and existing businesses downtown and future Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) expansion.
“We are thrilled to be adding this play space to the ever-increasing amount of positive development in Downtown Lethbridge and we believe this project is a major step forward to helping public perception,” says Crystal Scheit, Urban Revitalization Manager.
A community advisory committee, which included representation from the Heart of Our City Committee, the Downtown BRZ, Casa, SAAG, Lethbridge Plays and the Rotary Club of Lethbridge, were consulted for design ideas.
“The addition of an all-accessible play space in Galt Gardens does much to help us realize our goal that sees the Downtown as a vibrant destination in which everyone can live, work and play,” says Sarah Amies, Executive Director for the Downtown BRZ.
"Knowing that play has such an important role in so many aspects of healthy development for our children and youth, we are thrilled to see this new play space being built,” says Vicki Hazelwood, Co-Chair of Lethbridge Plays. “It will provide a whole new play area in our city with a unique and natural design that encourages imaginative and spontaneous play."
In 2022, the City of Lethbridge was successful in securing $375,000 in grant funding through the Government of Canada’s Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF). This grant represents more than 50 per cent of the $662,000 total project cost. The remaining $287,000 comes from a previously-approved budget in Public Realm Enhancements for $152,000, plus $125,000 approved by Lethbridge City Council in the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program, as well as $10,000 from the Kal-Tire Replay Fund.
The CCRF is a two-year $500-million national infrastructure program designed 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.