CPCA opposes 33rd Street bridge proposal

On October 15th the CPCA voted unanimously against the proposed 33rd street bridge. We urge the residents of City Park to stay informed on the project and to make their opinion heard by attending the upcoming community consultation meeting on October 21st at Mayfair United Church from 4:30 to 8:30pm and by contacting City Counsellor Darren Hill. The proposed plan will direct traffic from the University bridge to the 33rd street bridge, increasing traffic drastically on 33rd street. 

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Jane’s Walk fosters community pride

By Dwayne Keir, Member-at-Large

As the old adage goes: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts?”

But what does that actually mean? How does this concept work in the real world?

Both of these questions can be answered when trying to understand what builds, maintains and sustains a community.

The work of Jane Jacobs centered on creating concepts and systems that will better understand these type of questions, while seeking to achieve better answers to them as well.

Humans obviously prefer, as a minimal standard, a living arrangement that is safe, healthy, enjoyable, affordable, clean, and accessible.

What makes the concept of “a community” complex is that each person will have a unique perspective of what this type living arrangement consists of.

Since 2007, on the first weekend of May walking events have been organized around the globe in honor of Jane Jacobs and her work.

The walks are local, diverse, and most importantly, informally planned so that they simply frame discussions about the community in which they occur.

A walk can be as simple as moving between and discussing the favourite gathering places in a neighbourhood and why people gather there.

These types of shared experiences are the roots of self organizing systems which build and grow vibrant communities.

Basically, there are no rules for the walks, the only goal is to understand and enhance our community through sharing reflections of where and how we live.

If anyone is interested in coming out, or organizing a walk, please feel free to send a quick message to any of the Jane’s Walk contacts, or post your own walk on the website below.

http://www.janeswalk.net/cities/landing/category/saskatoon/

Gord Androsoff
gandrosoff@sasktell.net
Cell: 306-371-8108

Tom Wolf
tom.wolf@sasktel.net
Cell: 306-716-2490

Dwayne Keir
keir.dwayne@gmail.com
Cell: 306-717-2807

Photo: Alexandra Guerson/Flickr

Searching for a balance: will ‘pocket park’ off-set parking lot?

By Tom Wolf

Tom is a long-time City Park resident, and former president of the City Park Community Association. In this article he presents an alternative for the FNUC property redevelopment, and hopes to spark discussion throughout the community on the issue raised. 

In 2010, Meridian Developments purchased the FNUC property on Duke and 7th. They acted on behalf of Affinity Credit Union, for whom the site will soon become corporate headquarters with roughly 200 employees.

One of the reasons Affinity chose this building was the availability of surface parking. Although they encourage their employees to bus, bike or walk to work, about 170 parking spaces will be created on what is currently an open grass area. Affinity has offered to keep and improve the skating rink on the site.

Some residents are concerned about the impact of 170 additional cars entering the residential heart of our neighbourhood. For example, additional traffic on Duke St. will affect pedestrians, especially our kids waiting for the school busses in the morning and returning in the afternoon. Another problem are the poor aesthetics of having a busy parking lot facing a residential corner and the associated noise and congestion on an already busy street.

For residents of City Park, the question is how these negative effects can be lessened.

One solution may be to eliminate parking lot access from Duke and establish a ‘pocket park’ in the south-east corner of the property.

The size of the park would be equivalent to the area taken by the rink (which, according the City of Saskatoon, can’t be relocated to the corner), so the number of parking spaces would not be affected.

In that scenario, the rink would need to be moved to another location in the Collegiate grounds, or Wilson Park. The addition of a pocket park with trees, shrubs, tables, and benches would serve residents who use Duke to get to Spadina or 2nd Ave, and would also be very nice for kids or Affinity staff.

Meridian and Affinity have already been made aware of these concerns and we look forward to working with them to sort things out.

In the meantime, these ideas should be discussed amongst ‘City Parkers’ to see if they have merit and should be pursued.

Photo: Wikipedia

The Potato Patch

By Larry Mullen, Food Bank Garden Coordinator

City Park has been home to “The Potato Patch,” a garden for the Food Bank, for the past two summers. Oct. 11 saw the last of this year’s crop harvested and delivered to the Food Bank larder.

Located on the half city block off 3rd. Avenue, between Duke and Duchess, and surrounded by a blue wire fence, the land was worked by volunteers and Food Bank staff to produce an abundant supply of fresh vegetables. The weeds threatened to defeat us during the long, hot days of July and early August — but volunteer workers prevailed. In early October, over a 6 day period, we dug up 6,180 lbs. of carrots. Earlier in the season the potato, beet, cabbage and onion crops yielded just over 9,000 lbs.

The crowning results, however, came from the stand of corn. On just under one third of an acre we picked 5,800 ears. This amount exceeds the 5 year provincial average! Thank you to Dave Hiebert for planting the idea, last fall, to grow corn.

There are a great many others to thank for this successful project. Most importantly, Keith and Carla Lysyshyn, living on 4th. Ave., provided access to their water. Without this generous supply we would not have had the yields we did. Several people from City Park and surrounding neighbourhoods came forward to lend a hand at important junctures.

The workers from Urban Camp, Teen Challenge, and Sask.Tel Pioneers were once again main stays. Wally, from Wally’s Urban Market Garden, whom many City Parkers know from his stall at the Farmers’ Market, provided inspired hands-on help several times during the summer.

Potato Patch

Critical to our success were staff, clientele, and volunteers from the Food Bank along with volunteer gardeners from Circle Drive Alliance Church who came at a crucial time. Ben Marlanovits, the horticulturist from the Core Neighbourhood Co-op, was also much appreciated for his assistance.

The final push to harvest all those carrots was provided by students via the Learning Centre and the Aboriginal Students’ Centre at the U of S. Also contributing from the University was Professor Doug Waterer and his staff from the Department of Plant Science, who provided invaluable work and consultation throughout the year. Welcome aboard and thanks also to the people newly involved from the Department of Soil Science.

Thanks to the reliable Ernie Fast who returned for year two with his cultivating equipment; to Rob Ferguson, owner of Super Save Fencing, for all his material help; to Ruth Anne and Robin from CHEP for their consultations, and to the Sask. Waste Reduction Council for volunteer help at another crucial time.

Hats off to Mayor Don Atcheson for his enthusiastic on-going support and to all the City Councillors who voted in favour of having the garden continue this past year.

Also thanks to Milt Taylor, owner of Imagery Photography on Duchess, inspired the project and provided necessary fund-raising support, bringing in money and in-kind contributions. In return we provided him with vegetables rather than half a city block of weeds. His enthusiastic interest helped make it all fun.

One final note: throughout this report I have used the words “critical” and “crucial” to describe times when the weeds were swamping us and/or the produce was ripe and ready for harvesting immediately if not sooner. Those of you who garden will appreciate how crucial it is to get help at these critical times! Half a city block is a lot of land to be responsible for, but everyone is already looking forward to 2012.

Photo: mellowynk/Flickr