Residents clean park to help public works department
Residents have stepped up to clean up a neglected strip of green space in the town’s Deer Ridge neighbourhood.
Last week, a half dozen residents, many of them seniors, took it upon themselves to give the town’s resource-stretched public works department a hand to beautify the green space, known as Alfred Park, a green space of less than one acre in size at the intersection of 12 Street and 23 Avenue.
The residents fixed up neglected flower beds in the park’s rock gardens, pulled out dandelions and trimmed trees. The park has also been mowed.
“They took the initiative because they wanted to support the parks’ crew,” said Bob Wright, a longtime volunteer member of the Didsbury Fire Department who lives near the park. “The town crews get picked on all the time but they have limited resources.
“For quite a few years the developers looked after it,” added Wright, noting the green space had turned in recent years to an eyesore. “It seems to be one of the last ones the parks department was looking at.”
In recent years trees in the green space had died. Wright noted, however, parks crews did replace them this spring with new trees.
Meanwhile, Mike Phillips, the town’s manager of public works, said Alfred Park’s restoration was on his department’s agenda and his staff fully intended to get caught up with its cleanup.
“We had hoped to get at it by the end of the month or in the beginning of July but there has been a lot of wet weather,” said Phillips, whose department of eight full-time staff members is tasked this year to maintain 50 acres of green space. “Residents took it upon themselves to fix things up and I commend them for that.”
Phillips said the effort by residents is especially appreciated as it saves the town time and money. He said it is hoped the initiative will inspire other citizens to take the same action or even formally “adopt” a park to ensure it is always regularly maintained.
“It sure helps our parks crew out,” said Phillips. “We are more than happy to see this happen.”