Three Grande Prairie neighbourhood associations will get the extra funds they have applied for. City council has approved dividing up $20,000 in Parks Improvement Grants to groups in Signature Falls, Cobblestone/Riverstone and Country Club. Councillor Chris Thiessen says the annual grants give groups the ability to create their own living environment.

“It takes a bit of the load off of our parks people and it helps the [groups] design the neighbourhood themselves the way that they want to so that they are living in the neighbourhood that they actually want to live in.”

The Signature Falls Neighborhood Association will get $14,350 to go towards installing a multi-use and multi-season play surface at Hibbs & Fredette Family Park.

The Country Club Neighbourhood Association will be given $2,500 towards buying and planting an edible orchard at a park in the Country Club subdivision.

Cobblestone/Riverstone Neighbourhood Association is set to be given $3,150 to buy and install three garbage cans at three parks in the Cobblestone neighbourhood. According to Thiessen, by the time you install the concrete pad and buy the garbage can it works out to be around $1000 per item.

“My understanding is that when you don’t secure a trash receptacle a lot of the time they get tipped over, they get damaged, vandalized and all that. Our parks department has mandated the need to put down the concrete and then we drill the trash receptacles into there. Most of the cost really is going into the concrete base, the trash receptacles and the work to put it in.”

The Riverstone Playground Society and the Highland Park Neighbourhood Association also applied for funding but were denied. The playground society told the city it no longer needed the money and Highland Park was not recommended because the city said items like trees and shrubs weren’t needed at the moment.