Greenspace added to Village Green concept
A greener Village Green was presented to the community on Sunday, Sept. 22, when about 75 people were at Station on the Green for the unveiling of a proposed redesign of the TD Bank property, Hort Park and Station on the Green property.
Designer Jennifer Nagai, of PFS Studio in Vancouver, said changes to the design were made as a result of comments from the public calling for fewer raised beds, less concrete, more grass, the preservation of existing trees, more seating and space for children to play.
Nagai said the design has also been amended to frame the fountain within the expanded garden and increase its visibility from Mill Street and other angles.
She said the public indicated they didn’t love the strong diagonal design marking the old rail line that went through the property. The new design opts instead for “a criss-crossing of geometries to reduce the prominence of the diagonal,” the central wide walkway from Mill Street leading to the main entrance of Station on the Green. Coming the other way from the Station parking lot – where it was decided the Farmers’ Market should remain – a zigzagging pathway would create a “garden stroll” and a visual buffer to the parking lot.
A larger lawn has been added to the design, along with additional trees. The space allotted for the Horticultural Society, said president Judi Parker, will be equal or more than what is currently existing and that members of the society will have complete control of the curation and care of the beds.
The gardens will be visible from more angles and will become features of the new Village Green, she said.
“That history is not being lost,” said Parker. “We will continue to work on the site we have been working since 1925.”
There is a covered stage in the plan that is currently located on the existing TD property. The stage is located on a stepped wooden platform surrounded by café style seating. Nagai said the goal is that the stage supports current Mill Street programming, but can also be used as seating and a place for informal community use.
Some of the ideas are framed as imaginings rather than solid proposals, including additional jets around the fountain to create an informal waterpark, adjacent to an area with colourful blocks where children can hop from one to the next.
Creemore Community Foundation co-founder Stuart Lazier said the plan as presented is “85 per cent of the way there but still needs some tweaking.”
Attendees seemed to be in agreement with people commenting that this revised design was an improvement on the first, acknowledging that public input had been heard.
Lazier said they will be raising $2.1 million in funds, of which a portion has already been raised. A $1 million endowment fund is being established for operating expenses, which includes a full time program coordinator and a part time maintenance person.
The proposal is to lease the municipal property for one dollar a year, in order to program and maintain the space.
The whole proposal is still up for council approval. Lazier gave an update to Clearview council members on Sept. 23, in advance of the project going back to council on Oct. 7. Lazier told councillors that the “closing date” for the TD Bank property transfer has already been pushed back so they need to get it approved at the Oct. 7 meeting so the transfer of property can be finalized by the end of October.