Cricket in Grande Prairie will be staying in Head & Salmond Park for the time being after city council approved additional safety changes there, but considerations were made to move the pitch.
Fencing will be installed near the adjacent playground to stop balls from rolling in, at a cost of $6,000.
“I believe that this is, in the long run, going to be a temporary solution and that we’re going to be looking for a new home for the cricket club within the next two, three or four years,” said Coun. Gladys Blackmore.
Residents next to Head & Salmond Park raised concerns about cricket balls entering their yards, safety concerns about balls entering the playground as well as noise at a council meeting in July.
After a delegation of concerned residents presented to council in July, temporary fencing was installed which has kept balls from leaving the cricket area, said Sarah Paterson, city community recreation manager.
“The noise factor and how close it is to neighbourhoods needs to be considered,” said Coun. Mike O’Connor at the Nov. 14 council meeting.
The report on safety options and relocation for the cricket pitch did not include noise considerations due to not being directed by the Public and Protective Services committee or council previously.
Coun. Dylan Bressey says he was surprised to see how close some of the cricket infrastructure was to residents’ homes and understands their frustrations.
No motions were made regarding sound levels at the park.
Location considerations for cricket
“The sport of cricket has really taken off in this community, and they don’t have enough space to play all their games,” said Coun. Kevin O’Toole.
He believes the Grande Prairie Cricket Association (GPCA) will be coming to council looking for additional field space soon.
Three locations were presented to the Public and Protective Services committee in a report that gave an option to relocate cricket: Cobblestone East, Riverstone and Vision West.
The Cobblestone East location would be in the field next to Riverstone Public School.
The report estimates the cost to move cricket to Cobblestone is around $80,000, including installing cement pads for the play and practice pitch and adding off-street parking.
The Riverstone site is estimated at $250,000 and needs to be levelled, sodded, or seeded for grass. Its location would be adjacent to Mother Teresa School.
According to the report, a pitch at Vision West would cost an estimated $300,000 and would need the most work as there is no parking and grass, and it would require more engineering infrastructure and landscaping. The location would be the open lot at the corner of 97 Ave. and 124 St., near the airport.
The GPCA currently has about 80 members and five teams, hosts tournaments and hosts teams from across the province.
The organization had also presented to council in December 2022, looking for $35,000 in upgrades to their current pitch. Council voted against the additional funds, but council directed city administration to work with the group to create a site plan to clarify the group’s needs.
By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Nov 23, 2023 at 09:52