As the long hinted-at spring weather appeared in full force on Wednesday, community services director Jody Boulet said that he looks forward to bringing out the best in city parks this summer.
© Herald photo by Tyler Clarke
Snow melt is seen draining in Prince Albert this week -- an annual bane on city parks, which civic crews are dealing with this week.
The first challenge will be re-opening Little Red River Park, which closed last week due to flood conditions.
‚ÄúWe actually have our staff out there today pumping water and hopefully getting it back to a good condition,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúIf we can get some consistent co-operation from the weather I think we‚Äôll be able to get things a little bit better by the end of the week.‚ÄĚ
Initially flooded by the North Saskatchewan River backing up into the park‚Äôs namesake river, water levels have since subsided, he said, noting that crews hope to re-open the park by the weekend.
‚ÄúThe road‚Äôs still kind of soft out there, so we‚Äôd like that to dry up just a little bit and do some maintenance before we open that up,‚ÄĚ he said.
Within the next couple weeks, about 20 summer students will fill out the department‚Äôs ranks, bringing the department back up to full operation.
With this his first summer as community services director, Boulet wants to make a special mark on city parks -- an influence he hopes to continue over subsequent years.
It‚Äôs a unique asset that we have, and I think it‚Äôs a draw for our community, whether it‚Äôs to live or visit, and I think that it requires the appropriate attention every year. Jody Boulet
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a unique asset that we have, and I think it‚Äôs a draw for our community, whether it‚Äôs to live or visit, and I think that it requires the appropriate attention every year,‚ÄĚ he said.
In addition to the 20 summer students filling out their ranks, Boulet hopes to see a new parks manager devote special attention to the city‚Äôs cache of green space.
The job posting closed on Wednesday and he hopes to see someone hired by this summer -- a position that came without added cost to taxpayers thanks to a staffing shift.
‚ÄúOur actual parks complement within our city limits is 23 per cent. If you take Little Red off the equation we‚Äôre at 10 per cent, which is standard,‚ÄĚ Boulet said.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs quite a unique situation to have that outdoor opportunity available to residents just at their doorstep.‚ÄĚ