Memorial Chess Park Being Protected in Dickinsfield

The Jina Burn Memorial Chess Park is being protected from future development.

Wood Buffalo council approved protecting the greenspace in Dickinsfield on Tuesday after Councillor Verna Murphy brought forward the motion back in July.

Murphy tells Mix News leaving one park alone won’t do any harm.

“We’re looking at developing the waterfront and the downtown and I think the residents of Dickinsfield have the right to have one little greenspace that’s woven into the fabric of their neighbourhood.”

She brought the motion after being told by residents of the neighbourhood they wanted to keep the area.

The Family Christian Centre had asked council to develop the area into a parking lot to help relieve some of the congestion and safety concerns around the school zones.

They noted they observed the area for an extended period of time with barely anybody using the park.

They eventually withdrew their request after getting feedback from the community.

“I think in the end, we all see the importance of preserving that park and making sure that the residents have access to it,” added Mayor Don Scott.

The Christian Centre did ask the municipality to look at finding a solution to the traffic issue in the neighbourhood, which council did by passing a motion having a review of the area take place.

Murphy says she doesn’t know what can help but something needs to be done.

“I think it just takes maybe a couple of education pieces, I’m not sure what that would look like, but I think there could be some other things with the crosswalks or some other safety calming measures that can be implemented there.”

The municipality is working with the Fort McMurray Public and Catholic School Districts to try and come up with a solution.

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