All facilities are ready for use after $2.3 million in renovations were done at the South Bear Creek Park. The upgrades included making the pavilion usable year-round, upgraded washroom facilities and additional windows. The Bear Paw Par 3 Golf Course was part of the funding as well. A new washroom and shower facility has been added near the beach volleyball facility. There has also been an addition of two more ball diamonds which rounds out the ball fields in the area to twelve.
When it came to the pavilion, Park Manager Kirsten Maher says people just expected the status quo when they went there. She says that has changed.
“With the support from council, we were able to add life to it. It is a really positive place to be and it is a place where families can come and enjoy themselves. It is a new facility really.”
She says there is possibility for rentals for cross country skies and other winter activity rentals to be held out of there. The facility will be open to campers and ball players to use starting on the Canada Day long weekend.
Along with the washroom upgrade at the pavilion, a permanent washroom structure was built for the beach volleyball players. There is an foot shower and taller shower for players to rinse off after a game located on the outside.
There are now twelve ball diamonds at the park after two more were installed. Maher says this will add some options for the local ball leagues and it will also help with the upcoming Alberta Summer Games that will be partially held in the park in 2018.
Bear Paw Par 3 Golf Course and Campground upgrades were also included in the upgrades.
Mayor Bill Given explains that he had a hard time being proud of the facility, especially the pavilion building, before the renovations. He says the upgrades make him want to take people to show them what Grande Prairie has to offer.
“The community has another high quality venue that we can be proud of. It isn’t so much about the physical place but more about the memories people will develop as they come here and enjoy the space.”
There is currently additional parking being constructed at the park.