- Our Town
Park upgrades proceeding
BC Parks and partners are getting ready for a big homecoming.
Roderick Haig-Brown Park is being redesigned and renewed in time for the dominant sockeye run on the Adams River this fall.
Adrian Wynnyk, recreation section head for the Thompson Cariboo Region of B.C. Parks, says the four-year improvement project is acknowledgement that the park is much more than a venue for the renowned Salute to the Sockeye Festival.
He says the park is very popular with day users and an integral part of a community, which includes First Nations, the Adams River Salmon Society, the Nature Trust of BC, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, other provincial ministries, and the private sector.
“All the groups have been involved, particularly the Little Shuswap Indian Band,” says Wynnyk, noting chiefs and councillors among others have been busy building a weir. “They have been helpful and supportive.”
Some highlights of the project, which began two years ago, include:
• The new facility will see an increased buffer between the river and the park facilities. Rehabilitation and re-vegetation, re-establishing a zone that better protects the riparian habitat.
• A more welcoming and clearly defined entry experience and a ‘gathering place’ that would suitably allow for large groups, festivals, organized community events and interpretive information.
• Provision of a safe, well-defined pedestrian and vehicular movement area.
• The new facility day-use area will be smaller and will meet the needs of the users in non-salute festival times.
• The site will be built so that the adjacent expandable parking is available for Salute and other large participant events.
• A deceleration lane from Squilax Anglemont Road and better sight distances for traffic coming and going from the park for improved safety.
• Room will be available for concessions, displays and interpretation as well as the same number of parking stalls.
• Some facilities will include First Nations themes in recognition of the past use of the fish and the Shuswap area.
• Trails will be improved. Updated signs and displays will encourage more use upstream from the parking area.
• A new viewing platform to view the salmon and other parts of the natural environment.
• Old trails that are too close to the river will be closed, rehabilitated and naturalized.
• A new day-use plaza area with picnic tables, interpretive information and other services.
• Improvements to the existing water system making it available to the visitors.
Not all items in this project, with an estimated cost of $1.2 million, will be fully completed this season, but the facility will be ready to the degree needed to facilitate the Salute to the Sockeye Festival this fall.
Wynnyk says the electrical and water upgrades are complete as is the deceleration lane.
The new trail from the plaza/parking lot to the new viewing platform is complete and construction of the main parking lot and plaza area is to be completed by the end of August.
Construction of the new viewing platform is scheduled for the end of August, with upgrades to trails below the bridge crossing the Adams River on the Squilax-Aglemont Road are to be completed by mid-September.