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(Friday, January 14, 2005) – Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) is hosting an open house and public consultation session January 29th and 31st to initiate planning efforts for the renewal of Point Pleasant Park after the ravages of Hurricane Juan and the Brown Spruce Budworm Beetle.
“The past few years have taken a toll on Point Pleasant Park, and we want to make sure we approach renewal efforts in the most efficient and effective way possible,” says Mayor Peter Kelly. “The Park is a special place for many residents, and we want to make sure we have input from the people on how they think we can improve the park for everyone.”
The community outreach process is part of an international design competition sponsored by Southwest Properties Limited. The company is donating $100,000 for this competition. Southwest is a Halifax-based company that has developed, owned and managed property in Atlantic Canada for over 50 years.
District Councillor Sue Uteck says “It is important to consult with the community as to their wishes and desires for Point Pleasant Park. The damage to the park represents both a unique opportunity and an important responsibility to ensure that the Park is not only restored for ourselves but for our children and their children.”
A steering committee of 15 people consisting of stakeholder representatives and residents-at-large has been appointed to organize the competition (see attached list). Chaired by Jim Spatz, CEO of Southwest Properties Limited, the committee will regularly report its progress to HRM Council.
Point Pleasant Park is a wonderful and important part of our city. We are delighted to partner with the residents and Council of HRM to attract world-class design for its renewal,” said Spatz. ”Public input is vital in ensuring that the design for the park reflects the community’s hopes, ideas and vision.”
Moderated by the Atlantic Provinces Association of Landscape Architects (APALA), the public information session will be held on January 29th, and a consultation session on Monday, January 31st (time and venue will be announced shortly). The public information session will give residents background information on the history and ecology of the park, and damage and restoration to date. The consultation session will give the public a chance to speak and be heard on what they would like to see happen in the renewal process. People also have the option of filling out a feedback form to express their views. This will be available at both sessions and at various HRM Customer Service Centres.
The information gathered from the meetings will help the committee develop a design brief for international teams of landscape architects, foresters, ecologists and other professionals who enter the competition.
One of the Steering Committee’s tasks will be the selection of a jury, which will judge submissions. The design competition will take place over the spring and summer of 2005, with a winner chosen by the fall. Renewal work is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2005.
Point Pleasant Park has been a place of recreation for the residents of the Halifax Regional Municipality for many years. Prior to Hurricane Juan, in September 2003, the park was a valued urban forest. Much loved by residents and visitors, Point Pleasant Park is considered one of the jewels in the crown of HRM’s parks. The design will see that the park’s renewal meets the needs of HRM residents today and for many years to come. HRM encourages public participation in shaping the future of Point Pleasant Park.
For more information, contact:
Jim Spatz, Chair
Point Pleasant Park International Design Competition Steering Committee
Corporate Communications Officer,
Steering Committee Members:
Peter Bigelow, HRM
Ruth Goldbloom, Pier 21 Foundation
Janet Kitz, author, former park commissioner
Stewart MacMillan, HRM
Doreen Malone, General Manager, Neptune Theatre
LaJune Naud, Chair, Point Pleasant Park Advisory Committee
Frank Palermo, Professor of Architecture, Dalhousie University
Allan Robertson, retired business/management consultant
Michael Santilli, student of architecture, Dalhousie University
Michael Smith, artist
Gordon Smith, Landscape Architect
Jim Spatz, Southwest Properties
John Stuart, general manger, Bishop’s Cellar
Richard Wassersug, Professor Dalhousie University
Anne West, retired public relations consultant and avid park user
Ian Taylor, retired cartographer