Residents near the Jacklin and Sooke roads intersection can now take advantage of a freshly renovated playground as Ernhill Park was officially reopened Wednesday morning.
Renovations began last summer and include a new, larger play structure, half basketball court, walking path and sports court. Part of the property at 2649 Ernhill Dr. also serves as a stormwater management area and the renovations also included removing invasive plant species and replacing them with native ones.
“A lot of these parks were put together in the 1990s by volunteers, so they were really limited with what they can provide,” said Yari Nielsen, Langford’s manager of parks and recreation. “With our developer contributions, now we are able to assign a budget … and we can squeeze as much as we can in a small space but still make it nice and useable.”
The park renovations, which totalled around $300,000, were funded by development cost charges. The charges are often added as conditions for development proposals to help fund infrastructure and community amenities upgrades in the city.
“There is nothing in this little neighbourhood besides this little park, so giving kids a basketball court, giving the locals a place to play some pickleball and do some recreation is really great,” Nielsen said.
Coun. Matt Sahlstrom noted the park was one of the oldest in Langford prior to these renovations. As the city continues to grow, so too does the need for parks and recreation resources, and improving them is a priority for the city, he said.
Ernhill is the first of a few planned park upgrades in Langford this year, with at least three other parks set to be upgraded or built from scratch.