Adventure Playground in Coquitlam?

On August 4 the Tri-City News reported that Coquitlam Council was looking at the possibility of bringing an adventure playground to the city. The city believes the opportunity provides additional recreational opportunities to the community, supports economic development through eco-tourism and may lead to enhanced services for citizens.

The proposed park would use 5 acres of forest, incorporating elements like treetop walkways and ziplines. The idea is that it would be similar to the WildPlay park in Maple Ridge. Coquitlam Councillor Selina Robinson visited WildPlay to find out more. She enjoyed the experience, and found that it was quieter than she anticipated. She wrote:

The trails below are open to the public so those who want to watch, take your dog for a walk (on leash of course) or run through the trees and see how the elements are tackled are welcome … There was no yahooing as you go through the course as it does require concentration and physical stamina – yahooing will just tire you out and put you at risk of having to use your safety harness to bail you out.

Robinson also points out that a 5 acre development would be quite small within Mundy Park, which is almost 400 acres in size.

But, initially, it was not Coquitlam Council who was being asked for their opinion (although Robinson did eventually conclude that Mundy Park is not the right location for the adventure plaground). The city asked to hear from residents. And the response was swift and vocal. A majority of people who live around Mundy Park do not want to see the development. The principal objections include:

  • Ruining the quiet and tranquility of a much-beloved park.
  • The brevity and timing of the public consultation period, which is happening over the summer when many residents are out of town.
  • Potential impacts on wildlife in the park.
  • Increased vehicle traffic in the area.

Three former summer Olympians – Leah Pells, Nancy Tinari and Bruce Deacon – are also speaking out against the proposed playground. Pells says that she has run all over the world, and never seen other places like Mundy Park. And Deacon and Tinari feel that the city should have done a better job in advising the public of the consultation process.

Letters to the Editor and Editorials in the Tri-City News and the Coquitlam NOW speak with a common voice against the adventure playground. Here are a few:

Following the negative response, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart stated that he understood residents’ concerns, and noted that such a park could be located elsewhere in Coquitlam.

At this point, it doesn’t look like any adventure playgrounds will be built in Mundy Park. Assuming that Mayor and Council want to be re-elected, anyway. But it sounds like the idea isn’t completely off the table for the city.

What do you think? Do you think that an adventure playground would be good or bad for Coquitlam? And where do you think that such a park should be located? The official consultation period has closed, but we always want to hear from you here at the V3H.

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