LABRADOR CITY, N.L.
Upwards of 40 residents turned out for a public consultation session at the Arts and Culture Centre in Labrador City on Nov. 13 to learn more about the Regional Trail Network and Parks Master Plan for the Labrador West region.
The session was a partnership between the town and the Halifax-based consulting firm Ekistics Plan + Design.
Ekistics landscape architect/planner Matthew Brown conducted the session.
In its Request for Proposals (RFP), the town noted that the Labrador West Regional Trail Network and Parks Master Plan will serve as a guiding document for the development of an interconnected green space network.
“The goal is to develop a detailed schematic design for development of a trail network that promotes tourism, establishes clear linkages between key outdoor community assets and promotes winter design principles and activities year-round... A comprehensive assessment of the Town’s outdoor recreation needs and future programming will need to be performed,” the RFP noted.
When contacted by phone about the public engagement session, Labrador City Mayor Wayne Button said it’s important that residents are involved in the planning process.
During the public engagement session, he said, residents were asked what they’d like to see in the master plan and what they feel could be done to improve outdoor spaces.
Everything from a tennis court to a dog park to lighting was discussed, Button said.
“A lot of people want lighting on the trails, a lot of people want washrooms in multiple areas, some people want areas for their dogs, some people want certain parts of the trail to not allow dogs,” Button said of some of suggestions put forward by the residents.
It’s expected that initial concept designs will be prepared for early in the New Year and will be presented at another public meeting.
The final schematic designs should be completed by August 2019.
Work going forward will be done in phases, Button said.
According to the RFP, the first phase of the trail will link key tourism destinations in the Gateway Labrador, Tanya Beach and Indian Point to the municipal boundary between Labrador City and Wabush.
In a branding initiative, Labrador West residents are also being asked to vote on a name for the new trail.
Frontier 53, Pioneer Trail, Twin Towns Trek, Wab-Lab Link and Taconite Trail are among the popular names, Button said.
“People voted that night (for the name) and we’ll be waiting for the consultants to come back again with logo designs and people will be able to vote again,” he said.