The District of Houston has taken the next steps toward sprucing up Jamie Baxter Park and, in conjunction with that, to construct a trail connecting the Mountainview Drive with the downtown through the park.
“The new pathway will play an important role as a safe, accesible transportation connection connecting the neighbourhood at the top of Mountain View Drive with amenities downtown,” indicated a Sept. 15, 2022 memo to council from leisure services director Cassie Henrickson.
It described the pathway as a “critical element that will help define how people move through Jamie Baxter Park and create a renewed interest in moving through the park on a daily and recreational basis.”
The desired grant would come from a provincial government program aimed at improving different ways and methods for people to get from one point to another.
And to help the project along, council has allocated just over $11,000 to finance trail and park design plans and to come up with an approximation of cost.
The design concept so far is to have a multi-use pathway built within the park from its northeast side to Mountainview Drive.
“Improving the safety of the park with the addition of lighting, along with developing trails that increase accessbility would have a great benefit to all users of the park,” Henrickson said.
The thinking behind multi-use pathways and where they should go stems from a comphrenesive pathway and trails plan commissioned by the District and released this spring.
It clearly identifies Jamie Baxter Park as key to the downtown are for its connection to the Mountainview area.
The park itself is going through an extensive planning process.
The trail and pathway plan released this spring says the trails and pathways should be at least two metres wide and not exceed a slope of eight per cent.
“The networks should be designed to provide direct, high-quality connections between each of Houston’s neighbourhoods, business areas, and key destinations, including schools, parks and community facilites, the master plan stated.
In broad terms, plans and ideas for Jamie Baxter Park include the possibility of redeveloping an old campground at the park, adding a multi-purpose sports court, placing exercise equipment close to the seniors centre, revitalizing the bike park and building a new playground.
parks, and community facilities,” the master plan stated.