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Dawson Park: A Virtual Tour of Edmonton’s Parks

The continuous ribbon of green that makes up the North Saskatchewan River Valley parks system wasn’t a happy accident. It was the product of over four decades of careful planning and politics, wherein municipal and provincial governments collaborated to unite the river valley into a continuous chain of parks. Without their dedication, we wouldn’t have what is now considered the largest urban parkland in the entire country and what we here at Chipps recognize as the most beautiful.

A tremendous amount of urban planning was necessary in order to unify all 7, 400 hectares of parkland. Without it, we wouldn’t have the amenities and infrastructure that exists today within this system, like the trails, washrooms, picnic areas, and boat launches we all enjoy. But, as anyone who looks after their own landscaping knows, the work doesn’t stop there. Considerable forethought goes into maintaining the over 20 major parks in the valley. The city must devote constant and considerable effort in order to ensure our parks remain the best in the country, which is why the city and its parks are no stranger to construction.

As we introduce another installment of Chipps’ virtual tour of the River Valley, we turn a spotlight on a park that the city is sizing up, too. Dawson Park, found in between the Riverdale community and the Kinnaird Ravine, is soon to be under construction in order to realize a 25-year master plan for the area. The project hopes to tackle social and environmental issues that may negatively affect the safety and biodiversity of Dawson. Over the course of the plan, the city expects to identify ways to improve visitors’ security and the ecosystem of the area.

As we write this, the pedestrian access on the north side of Dawson Bridge is closed for construction, but the park is still open to visitors. Home to the Edmonton Dragon Boat Racing Club, it’s a popular destination for those who want to get out on the river this fall. It also has a well-liked off-leash dog area, and you’ll be sharing the pathways with many enthusiastic pets on their way there. You’ll have to keep a careful eye out when you explore the 2.25 kilometre loop, as there are plans to close connecting trails to Kinnaird Ravine in order to develop these pathways. We can’t say for certain, but it may be to further accommodate its visually impaired visitors, as the park already features Braille signs and specially designed trails that work in conjunction with white canes.

Construction will also focus on invasive plant species that are threatening the area’s natural biodiversity. Careful attention must be devoted to the native trees and plants in order to ensure they thrive throughout the 25 years of the plan and beyond. As the city tackles this important problem, we here at Chipps would like to remind you that you face a similar problem anytime you cultivate your land and improve its landscape. You need to think about the health of the various poplars, maples, and whatever other species that litter your property.

If you have plans to start work this fall, or if you’re exploring your options for next year, make sure to book a consultation with one of our ISA-Certified Arborists. We can assess your property and identify the basic requirements of your trees in order to maintain their vigour. During this evaluation, our consultant will recognize any high-risk situations or health issues that may interfere with your landscaping goals, and they’ll indicate the best way to solve these issues.

We offer our consultations free of charge with no obligations, making them a simple way to have an expert appraise your land. You need only to get in touch and book a convenient time for our visit. Your plans may not look anything like Dawson Parks’ quarter century strategy, but with our professional help, we’ll make sure your upcoming landscaping goals are met without jeopardizing the beauty and health of your trees.