There’s a plan to make Heritage Ranch more attractive to families by providing new outdoor amenities and to groups looking for an indoor gathering space.
On Wednesday, the public got a peek at the $2.3 million conceptual plan that will be presented to city council on Oct. 5 for first reading.
Randy Heaps, landscape architect with ISL Engineering and Land Services, said the aim is to improve what the park has to offer and spread the word.
“We’re really looking at building on what’s there and what’s been used in the past,” Heaps said at an open house held at Westpark Middle School to gather public feedback.
“That’s always been a big goal to really find a way to draw families from Red Deer and the surrounding area into the site to make better use not just of the equestrian but the great environment out there.”
The equestrian facilities will remain, with even more emphasis on the ranch theme to the facilities.
More parking, a new playground and picnic amenities would be developed at the small ball field near the existing parking. An overnight campground site for school or children’s groups is planned along with a small expansion and upgrading to the visitor’s centre to accommodate groups of 60 to 80 people.
The operator, contracted by the city to provide the equestrian services, would see an upgrade to his residence which is owned by the city and located at the park.
Heaps said the operator needs to be on site for the security and maintenance of the horses.
“The house will stay and it will be upgraded and it will be redesigned on the outside to match the heritage ranch theme as well.”
More marketing is also part of the plan which would include better signage on Hwy 2 and a grander entrance with maps promoting the rest of the Waskasoo park system.
The need for upgrades to the park come from the Special Gathering Places Study approved in 2005.