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Urban National Park Option for the River Valley

Would you support the River Valley becoming an Urban National Park?


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    26

TAS

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So from the northeast it's Rundle, then Highlands, Riverside, Kinsmen (pitch and putt?), Victoria, Mayfair, Derrick? and then I don't know.
But seems almost like continuous golf courses - but to show the vastness of the valley, still a lot of space for other uses and non uses. But agreed, a lot of golf courses.
 

CplKlinger

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So from the northeast it's Rundle, then Highlands, Riverside, Kinsmen (pitch and putt?), Victoria, Mayfair, Derrick? and then I don't know.
But seems almost like continuous golf courses - but to show the vastness of the valley, still a lot of space for other uses and non uses. But agreed, a lot of golf courses.
Exactly, I just think it's a bit absurd to have five separate courses within this one stretch of the river valley. Aside from the country club, we have two pairs of courses where one is across the river from another.
Screenshot_20210811-152031_Maps~2.jpg
 

Platinum107

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I'm fine with mountain biking since the trails are pretty low impact, but I'm in favour of a national park partially because of this statistic: "Kerr estimates that 15 hectares of the river valley between Devon and Fort Saskatchewan have been lost to industrial development over the past 15 years."

Speaking of which, can someone please tell me why we have so manu friggin river valley golf courses in Edmonton?
IKR!? Why, WHY do we need 4 golf courses near downtown?? 1 publicly owned one and a private one sure, but we could definitely re-naturalize some of these spaces and/or make them accessible public parks.
 

Platinum107

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I personally have to agree with @itom987 and @IanO , On the surface the idea of giving the river valley national park status sounds nice but it'll most likely (definitely) make projects like Touch the Water and Prairie Sky Gondola much harder to accomplish with many more hoops to go through. I agree that it's important for most of the river valley to stay natural and pristine, but I believe that the city themselves can do that while allowing some development in key places like Rossdale.
 

RH van der Rohe

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I'm fine with mountain biking since the trails are pretty low impact, but I'm in favour of a national park partially because of this statistic: "Kerr estimates that 15 hectares of the river valley between Devon and Fort Saskatchewan have been lost to industrial development over the past 15 years."

Speaking of which, can someone please tell me why we have so manu friggin river valley golf courses in Edmonton?

The only Urban National Park in Canada had some non-legal (like most of Edmonton) bike trails. Bikes were prohibited outside of existing paved and gravel roads (as in used by cars as well) and enforcement went way up. That to me is a strong precedent. I don't understand where the Sierra Club gets their funding or how they are so powerful but they don't like bikes and will use their lobby and money to get them out of what they consider valuable conservation areas.
 

RH van der Rohe

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IKR!? Why, WHY do we need 4 golf courses near downtown?? 1 publicly owned one and a private one sure, but we could definitely re-naturalize some of these spaces and/or make them accessible public parks.

It would be interesting to know if all the private ones pay their fair share of property tax. Are any of the public ones in the city former private ones that couldn't pay? Golfers can drive out of the city and golf courses should convert to parks that most people can enjoy.
 

Avenuer

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I don't want the river valley in our urban boundaries to become a national park, that would mean no weirs, beaches, canals, river tubing docks and other fun things. I don't want another layer of bureaucracy to go through to get anything done.
If the designation would mainly provide the City with millions in additional funding for the river valley and still allow the City 'free reign' to do what it pleases with the land, then I am all for the designation. Plus, having the river valley with the 'Urban National Park' name could be a tourist draw. However, if the Feds want some level of control of the development and operation of river valley land, then I won't be supportive.
 

MCXavierL

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If the designation would mainly provide the City with millions in additional funding for the river valley and still allow the City 'free reign' to do what it pleases with the land, then I am all for the designation. Plus, having the river valley with the 'Urban National Park' name could be a tourist draw. However, if the Feds want some level of control of the development and operation of river valley land, then I won't be supportive.

I agree, I am for it so far. There will indeed be funding that comes with it and employment as well for Edmontonians in the park. We need stronger protections for our River Valley. Can we trust local politicians won't sell it off to developers it in 10-20-30 years? I would rather put the River Valley in the National Park service's hands/protection than leave it to local council.

The Feds would likely have some control over development/operation as that comes with the protections, I would imagine.
 

CplKlinger

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From the research I've been doing, the level of development and control regarding this park is very much up in the air. Rogue National Park, the first such urban national park, was created through the Rogue National Park Act. It was tailor-made to suit the region. I imagine something similar would take place with these proposed ones.

I don't think it's simple enough to assume that touch the water, bike trails, and other things would have to be scrapped. This will involve a complex series of negotiations among the feds, all municipalities along the river between Devon and Fort Sask, Indigenous groups, other interest groups, and the residents themselves. And there's no gaurantee about which land will be acquired to begin with. We can look to Rogue to get an idea of the similarities and differences between national and urban national parks, but we shouldn't assume that it'll be a copy and paste solution. I think that this does have the potential to constructively build off the work that Edmonton has started, and take it to the next level.

Sure, it could just as easily move us backwards. But given that it gives us the potential of unlocking tens or hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funding for the regional river valley, the feds would organize and fund numerous events and initiatives for residents and tourists visiting the park, not to mention branding, trail networks connecting municipalities along the river, etc., this has great potential to help us do more to make our river valley accessible than we could ever do by ourselves. This is more than just one part of Edmonton (yes, I'm very pro-touch the water). This is 70+ km of river valley that can be made more accessibe to people from the region as well as from abroad.
 

Gronk!

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Just throwing this out there, but how about an urban national park that excludes Rossdale and the Touch The Water strip? That way we can include things such as the gondola without federal interference.
 

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