City preparing to draft new master plan for Little Red River Park

A proposal to allow snowmobiles to access Cosmo Lodge was voted down by council. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald.

The City of Prince Albert will soon be engaging with the public as it looks to draft a new master plan for Little Red River Park.

The city issued a Request for Proposals in late February seeking a consulting firm to assist with the development of a ten-year master plan for 2020-2030.

The existing master plan for the park was put together in  2005 and was designed to last until 2024. The city’s completion of the community services master plan was one of the factors that led to the desire to come up with a new master plan for the park.

According to the RFP, the plan will provide an overall framework “to guide the development, delivery and continuous improvement “ of the park’s programs, services and facilities. The hope is it will help guide the city in its long-range planning guidelines regarding Little Red and lay out strategies to meet the park’s needs.

To help with this, the city will be conducting consultation with the public and with some of the groups that use the park. A schedule attached to the RFP indicates public consultation will begin in May, with ongoing consultations with groups and with the Friends of the Park continuing through June. Consultation on the first draft of the plan is expected to take place in the fall, with the final draft due before council in December.

“One of the recommendations that came out of our community services master plan was developing a long-term plan for Little Red River Park,” explained community services director Jody Boulet.

“We’re looking for … some assistance with the public consultations and focus groups that will provide some of that input as to what kinds of priorities (the public) wants to see in the park in the future.”

Boulet said the city knows of multiple improvements and needs that have been communicated by groups that make sure of the park.

“We don’t have funding to complete all of these improvements at the same time,” he said.

“We’re hoping the plan will identify those priorities, but also how we prioritize those multiple areas. We’re going to have to come up with a plan and a way we can phase those improvements in, and identify ways those groups can work together in some of their initiatives.”

Boulet’s hope is the plan helps the city find the best way to move and plan for the park’s future.

‘We’re certainly looking forward to the process,” he said.

‘I think it’s been a long time coming. This will allow us to move forward in a strategic way to benefit all of the (groups) but also individual park users and families as well.”