It would appear that Royal City residents have a lot of ideas about the future of Queen's Park.
The City of New Westminster held an ideas event on Saturday to get public input into the Queen's Park master plan, which is a blueprint for the park's offerings in the next 10 to 20 years.
"We had a great response," said Jay Young, manager of Queen's Park Arenex. "I bet you some 300 to 500 people came by throughout the day."
In addition to the main venue at Queen's Park Arena, the city also set up stations at Queen's Park Arenex and the Millennium Trail to hand out postcards about the process and get residents' input. At the arena, an ideas board was overflowing with post-it notes suggesting ideas for the park.
"There wasn't anything that came out of left field," Young said. "There was a wide range of ideas. There were people all for change and people who didn't want any change at all - and everything in between."
As part of the planning process, a survey has been developed to get input into the future of Queen's Park. Residents who couldn't attend the ideas event are encouraged to complete the survey and be part of the process.
"We really want to encourage people to get these surveys done," Young said. "They will play a huge role in getting us started."
WDID YOU KNOW?
Queen's Park is now home to assorted amenities including an arena, arenex, stadium, fields, off-leash dog area, playgrounds, walking trail and a rose garden. Here are some of the other uses the park has enjoyed throughout its history.
w In 1905, Queen's Park Zoo was built and housed bear, wolves, coyotes, deer and tropical birds. (Today's petting farm is home to pigs, goats, rabbits and peacocks from May to September each year.)
w Queen's Park was once home to the Provincial Exhibition, with exhibition buildings being located on areas now home to Queen's Park Arena and adjacent playing fields.
When the First World War was declared, the Provincial Exhibition buildings were used as barracks for recruits stationed in the city - but the exhibition later resumed at the site. w May Day celebrations started being held in Queen's Park in 1870. The event, held through good times and bad, is the longest running May Day celebration in the British Commonwealth.
w Queen's Park Arena, built in 1930, has hosted lacrosse, hockey, concerts and other community events. Ice equipment was added to the facility in 1938, but before that time people could play badminton or watch horse shows in the arena.
u A fisheries building was built in Queen's Park in 1909 and used as a hatchery. It's on the site that is now home to the Vagabond Players and the Bernie Legge Theatre. u Queen's Park has been the site of royal visits, with King George and Queen Elizabeth attending May Day celebrations in the park in 1939 and Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visiting in 1959.
- Facts courtesy of the City of New Westminster