Safety measures such as secure garbage cans and clearing trees and bush are part of a $3 million budget for a new park on Burke Mountain, to avoid run-ins with bears.
Riley Park a 3.5 acre neighbourhood recreation area will be located at the corner of Burke Village Promenade. The city is holding a public information session on March 29 about the park, that will be completed in 2018-2019.
“The number one typical draw for bears is food, right. All of our garbage cans are bear proof,” said Andre Isakov, a media contact at Coquitlam’s parks, recreation and culture services.
All garbage cans in the Coquitlam have a wildlife-resistant lock, that the city designed and manufactures.
In 2016, Coquitlam residents placed 1,927 calls to conservation officers about bears in the city. Isakov said in planning Riley Park, measures were taken to ensure the public is safe from wild animals.
“We make sure there’s really good clear sight lines so that people can actually observe everything that happening in the playground. That’s important for wildlife as well as for safety.”
City crews will cut down trees and clear bush for picnic and play areas but also to give park users a clear view to the forest, to avoid run-ins with wildlife.
“For this park there’s going to be a lot of open space. There’s also a lot of demand in general for neighbourhood parks just general grass space whether it’s for picnicking whether it’s for Frisbee or to kick a ball,” Isakov said.
New trees will be planted as part of the park’s development to replace the number of trees that are cut down.
“That’s part of the process of putting in a park in an undeveloped site,” Isakov said.
Coquitlam has 55 neighbourhood parks, recreational and green spaces that are within a five to 10-minute walking distance of homes they serve.