Welcome to a new year of engaging ourselves in the struggle to improve community access to and activities in Hastings Park. The City is expected to begin community consultation on governance this year, so we would like your help in building our coalition, and engaging more of our community in this discussion.
Many of you are already involved or familiar with local associations and organizations – from art and theatre to sports and youth groups, from day cares and seniors homes to school programs, PAC groups, community centre activities, civic projects and cultural organizations. Many of these groups might have an interest in future spaces and activities that support their focus and that would hope to be supported in a public park. We would like to talk to these community groups about how we might work together to have our interests included in these upcoming discussions on how the park is to be organized and run.
To date, we know that people at our public meetings have asked that Hastings Park be run by the Parks Board, which has public funds and a mandated elected role in developing parks & programs in both the community and city interests. To date the City has appointed the PNE Board to run Hastings Park. But the PNE Board is not responsible to the public; instead it is mandated to advance and support the interests of the PNE, not those of the park or the community. The City has adopted a new Master Plan for the Park that lays out its future spaces but future community access to them, and on-site activities in them, is now left to this upcoming decision on park governance. Public park governance is key to open, year round community access and use.
Please send us names and contact information for any community groups that are a part of your life. We would like to:
- meet with them to talk about their specific interests in park developments and uses on the site;
- make them aware of the potential of the park for expanding community recreational and restorative activities;
- encourage them to participate in the process when the City initiates it;
- help us all understand the importance of the governance decision to the availability and cost of park spaces, services and programs we want to see in our community.
Please e-mail us with this information. Together, we can build a Coalition for a kinder Hastings Park that will provide more employment opportunities, recreational, physical and mental health amenities for ourselves and our children, and strengthen our community for its future part in city growth. Help make Hastings Park a real Park for all of us.
Thank you from the Friends of Hastings Park steering committee