Three Mile upgraded

Trails and amenities are being beefed up at Three Mile Bend off-leash dog park this summer.

Trails and amenities are being beefed up at Three Mile Bend off-leash dog park this summer.

Additional benches, waste bins, bag dispensers and interpretive signs are being added, starting next week, to the recreational area near Riverside Drive.

A boardwalk will also be put in for the local canoe and kayak club’s use.

City of Red Deer project superintendent Jeff Graves said enhancing the park will create a better experience for all user groups.

“It is about creating friendly, usable spaces that canoe and kayak users, dog walkers, runners and cyclists can all access,” said Graves.

“All improvements are designed to enhance the usability of the park and reduce potential conflicts with other park users.”

The city recently put in a solar-powered floating device, known as a SolarBee, at the pond.

It helps eliminate harmful algae blooms, enhance water clarity, reduce nuisance weed growth and improve habitat for fish spawning and growth.

All improvements stem from the Special Gathering Places Study approved in 2005. That study reviewed the uses of Three Mile Bend and three other parks to see whether changes needed to be made.

Costs are partly being paid through government grants.

Graves said the federal and provincial governments gave money and the city matched funding for a total of $1.6 million. That money goes to improvements at Three Mile Bend and Bower Ponds.

“With inflation, costs increased to $2.6 million,” Graves said.

City council approved the additional $1 million through the 2008 and 2009 municipal capital budgets. Some work has been done at Bower Ponds, including a new performance stage and a playground.

Three Mile Bend will remain open while improvements are underway.

Some trail closures and disruptions will occur due to construction and machinery in the area. Residents are encouraged to keep their dogs on leash around these construction areas.

Work is expected to wrap up before this fall.

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