City Park Junior Entrepreneur Day and Community Garage Sale

This weekend, on Saturday June 23 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., City Park is hosting a junior entrepreneur day and community garage sale.

Throughout the neighbourhood, young City Parkers are encouraged to set up lemonade stands, homemade jewellery stands, cookie and cupcake tables and face-painting booths, among any other ideas that may spark up.

The junior entrepreneur day will coincide with a neighbourhood-wide garage sale. The goal is for children to have fun and for neighbours to enjoy a morning market.

Everyone in the neighbourhood is open to participate. For more information, contact Alana Berg at alanabsp@gmail.com, or Tammy Zdunich at tammy@boehmerphotography.com.

Residential parking permits about to expire

The City of Saskatoon is reminding City Park residents who live in the residential parking permit zone, near City Hospital, that their parking permits expire April 30.

The new permits are available at city hall and must be displayed by May 10.

The City Park residential parking permits allows residents who live in the permit zone to park longer than the posted time limit. Proof of residency must be provided when purchased.

Two-hour time restriction signs are posted in a large area surrounding City Hospital and are in effect 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Vehicles without a permit that are parked longer than the posted limit will be subject to a ticket.

Check out the city’s website for more information.

The shaded area below shows the City Park parking permit zone.

6th North Park Scouts

Spring 2012 Bottle Drive: April 21

The North Park Scout Group would like to thank the residents of City Park for their support over the years. We will be holding our annual Spring Bottle Drive in City Park on Saturday April 21. During this bottle drive we will NOT be knocking on your door, but if you leave your bottles, cans and other recyclable drink containers on your front door step on Saturday morning we will be very pleased to pick them up. If you are not going to be home or if you forget to leave your bottles and cans out for us, you can call Don Greer at 242-7945 and he would be pleased to arrange for one of our members to come by and pick up your bottles and cans. Or if you have that garage or basement full now and would like us to clean that out for you, please give us a call now.

Spring Registration:

The 6th North Park Scout Group is providing a onetime offer to girls and boys ages 5 to 14 to become involved in Scouting (Beavers 5-7, Cubs 8-10 & Scouts 11-14). The Group will cover the $50.00 Spring Registration Fee and provide you with a 6th North Park Scout T-shirt and an opportunity to participate in the balance of our programs for the Spring of 2012. This will include our remaining meetings in April and May, a Beaveree or Cuberee in May and access to any camps offered by either the 6 th North Park Scout Group or Scouts Canada. Our Beaver Colony meets Tuesdays at 6:30 and our Cubs & Scouts meet Thursdays at 6:30. All meetings are at North Park/Wilson School. If you are interested, please contact our Group Register, Olivia Hilderman, at 683-6390. Registration must be received by Tuesday April 17 and new members must agree to participate in the Spring Bottle Drive on April 21.

Photo: Scouts Canada

City Park needs a programming director!

The CPCA is looking for a volunteer who is interested in taking over the community programming portfolio, which currently includes yoga, Zumba, Boot Camp and several children’s programs.

Check out our programs page here.

The programs director is responsible for deciding what programs to run, booking space at the highschool, seeking out and coordinating instructors, and hosting registration nights.

As of late, the programs have been available in three sessions per year: Spring, Fall and Winter.

If you are interested in coming on-board and helping out with the programs, contact Susan Wall at cswall@sasktel.net or by phone at 978-4377.

Photo: Lululemon athletica/Flickr

Dog thefts on the rise in City Park

Two City Park residents who say their dogs were stolen from secure backyards in recent months have come forward to the StarPhoenix, worried that the incidents are related and warning dog owners in the area to keep a close eye on their pets.

Their real names were not used in the StarPhoenix story because they believe the thefts could be an organized effort tied to dog fighting.

They say they have been in contact with a number of others living in City Park and North Park whose pets have also gone missing under similar circumstances.

The dogs were all stolen from secure backyards during the evening hours and the missing dogs are all medium-or large-sized breeds, such as blue heelers and pitbulls.

“Maybe it’s all a coincidence, but why three stolen heelers in three months?” said Cindy (not her real name), who recently had her dog stolen, in an interview with the StarPhoenix.

Cindy said her dog, which has never left the yard on its own, went missing from her fenced-in City Park backyard March 17. Her dog was outside for 90 minutes when she heard a bark and went outside only to find the dog was gone.

A man in City Park said his pit bull disappeared from his backyard while out for groceries one evening in November. He said his dog could not of escaped because the yard is surrounded by a two-metre fence with padlocks on the gate.

“She didn’t jump the fence and none of the locks were broken,” Robert (not his real name) told the StarPhoenix.

Robert said he has been contacted by three other dogs owners who have fallen victim to dog theft, all with a similar story. He said the dogs have all been of breeds known to be aggressive, which gives him the impression the pets were stolen for dog fighting.

Saskatoon Police are investigating at least one of the thefts, and are asking others whose dogs have suspiciously gone missing to come forward.

As of April 9, the police said there is no evidence suggesting that a criminal dogfighting organization is responsible for the thefts.

The SPCA has been contacted and is going over missing dog reports to determine if their is a pattern, but initially nothing is pointing to an organized effort, said Tiffany Koback, SPCA Saskatoon shelter director, to the StarPhoenix.

“We are concerned that if there are a number of dogs missing from the area then we need other dog owners to contact us to determine is there is any connection,” Cindy said.

Photo: stephskardal/Flickr

SP story by Jeremy Warren

The Next Big Thing: Seventh Avenue Gateway

The City Park Community Association voted last month to spend extra funds on new projects in the community, including renewing the neighbourhood entrance at the Seventh Avenue and 33rd Street railway crossing.

Now, a steering committee has been formed to oversee the capital expenditure. Some early suggestions include hiring a local youth art group to mural the cement walls of the overpass and also to clean up the surrounding area. Canadian Pacific Railway has been contacted, and they too have shown interest in providing some financial support for the project.

The project was chosen from an official list of ideas from City Park residents, compiled by members of the CPCA for The Next Big Thing venture. Other suggestions included planting an apple orchard in Wilson Park, which could potentially be the first step to a full-fledged food forest. Also, some residents pitched the idea for a picnic structure in Wilson Park, equipped with an outdoor wood-burning oven.

However, according to the majority of the members of the CPCA at the February executive meeting, renewing the Seventh Avenue Gateway is top priority. Currently, the area surrounding the train overpass appears industrial and uninviting, says council members.

The cost of improving The Seventh Avenue Gateway is still unknown, but its possible there will be funds left over in The Next Big Thing portfolio for additional projects.

Going into 2012, the CPCA had accumulated a substantial surplus, therefore allowing the organization to tackle a major project. The earmarked money will still leave an appropriate operating budget for the remander of the year.

Anyone with comments or suggestions regarding The Next Big Thing project is asked to email CPCA Vice President Janice Braden at janicelbraden@gmail.com.

Photo: Google Street View

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

33rd Street project great for cyclists

Biking is about to become easier and safer for residents of City Park.

City council has approved the construction of a multi-use cyclist and pedestrian corridor along the south side of 33rd street. The pathway will stretch from Spadina Crescent to 3rd Avenue, directly along the border of City Park and North Park.

The new three-metre-wide separated avenue is the first phase of a $6.7 million masterplan, which will eventually connect the University of Saskatchewan main campus with the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST).

According to a city report, the first phase — which will also be available to those in wheelchairs and scooters — will cost $1.67 million, with $1 million coming from the federal government.

The rest of the project ,which is yet to be funded, will include the continuation of the 33rd Street corridor, from 3rd Avenue to Idylwyld Drive, and additionally, a roundabout at Spadina Crescent and 33rd street, improved streetlights, landscaping, new benches and bus stops.

The planned corridor is one of a handful of attempts the city has recently made to improve bicycle safety, showing they are finally on-board to resolve the poor conditions cyclists face in Saskatoon.

In 2011, the city released a comprehensive how-to guide to cycling in Saskatoon. According to the city’s website, the guide “rates every road in Saskatoon, from novice to intermediate and expert, and provides suggested routes and facilities that have been identified by experienced local cyclists and City staff.”

The guides are free, and can be downloaded on PDF here, or you can pick up a hard copy from any library or leisure centre.

On the website you can also check out the city’s cycling newsletter, read about bicycle safety and research Saskatoon’s overall “plan for cycling.”

Graphic: City of Saskatoon

Press Release: Demolition of Bethany / Silverwood House

SASKATOON (February 14, 2012): The City Park Community Association (CPCA) deeply regrets the imminent demolition of the Bethany Home on Queen Street. The destruction of this historic character building will be a loss not just to City Park but also to the people of Saskatoon as very few such 100-year old residences remain in our city.

We appreciate that the new owner and developer of the site offered the house to the city and attempted to have it moved off the lot so as to preserve the building. We feel however that more houses such as the Bethany Home should be designated as heritage buildings. The City of Saskatoon also needs to provide more protection for our historic buildings that are currently not designated as heritage, including putting in place an extensive consultation process with the neighbourhood affected before a demolition permit is granted.

For more information contact CPCA President Michael Murphy at 244-5267 or vice-president Janice Braden at 321-2310.

Photo: Saskatoonhomepage.ca

Babysitter Registry

The City Park Community Association will once again be offering a community-based babysitter registry to serve the needs of young families living in the area.

If you are a babysitter and would like to get your name on the registry, please submit your name, age and phone number to janicelbraden@gmail.com. For anyone under the age of 18, please provide the name and phone number of a guardian to confirm consent. Also, indicate if you have babysitter course training, preferred ages, availability times and any other information you would like potential families to know.

If you want a copy of the babysitter list, contact Janice Braden at 653-1888 or janicelbraden@gmail.com.

Photo: Aquilla/Flickr