Construction begins in Markham on award-winning park design

Just last week, our Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan (SNAP) program put their shovels in the ground marking the exciting start of Glencrest Park’s Revitalization! We thank our persistent partners at the City of Markham for helping this happen.

SNAP’s Glencrest Park Revitalization is a component of a nationally recognized project that won an award of excellence in the ‘New Directions’ category from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. The project inspires by demonstrating how a traditional infrastructure renewal project can be re-imagined to include additional objectives like long term beauty, innovative recreational amenities and ecological function. The project will also help engage and inspire local residents to appreciate and replicate these features at home.

Glencrest Park rendering

The traditional design solution proposed to replace a sewer pipe crossing the park with a larger sewer pipe to address flooding issues. The SNAP team identified an exciting opportunity to transform the underutilized area comprised mostly of extensive lawn into a dynamic multi-functional space. The enhanced innovative design introduces a system of raingardens that will commemorate a historically piped creek, and will address stormwater quality and erosion before it enters the Don River. It will also include a fully accessible playground; a passive pathway decorated with animal footprints; a meditation garden and labyrinth; naturalization plantings with hundreds of native trees and plants; educational signage and pollinator gardens to attract beneficial butterflies and birds. Neighbours will come out to the park on October 15th to plant hundreds of trees and shrubs, celebrating this great achievement. This park is one of three novel and inspiring park renewal concepts included in the Bayview Glen SNAP action plan.

Additionally, a locally tailored home retrofit program is currently underway in this community, helping residents implement flood control measures, replace dying ash trees and conserve water and energy. The action plan also includes innovative concepts for greening road right-of-ways and active transportation enhancing cycling and walkability throughout the neighbourhood.

This is another excellent example of how the SNAP Program’s neighbourhood approach brings together diverse partners and innovative funding mechanisms to create measurable environmental impact and community transformation and enhancement.