New Westminster, B.C. – New Westminster’s Sixth Street Play Area at Westminster Pier Park has been awarded the 2023 Parks Excellence Award from the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) for its innovative design to support improved connectivity to the riverfront, an expanded play program, and opportunities for social connections.
“The Sixth Street Play Area is a great example of how recreational amenities and infrastructure can be combined to create a connected public realm, and increase opportunities for healthy living and social activity.” said Mayor Patrick Johnstone. “Congratulations to New Westminster’s Parks and Recreation staff on winning BCRPA’s excellence award.”
The Sixth Street Play Area was constructed in spring 2021 at the west entrance of Westminster Pier Park, adjacent to a new accessible pedestrian/cyclist overpass and ramp. Integrated into the design of the Sixth Street ramp and overpass, the new linear play area provides a unique recreational experience with the added benefit of sun and rain protection from the ramp above. The play area also includes native and adaptive trees, resilient play surface made from recycled and natural materials and feature lighting. These features, as well as a variety of seating options, stroller and bike parking space, games tables, and play equipment for a range of ages and abilities combine to create a play area that is dynamic and inclusive.
“Through public engagement efforts, we were able to create a unique and inclusive new play area that meets the needs and aspirations of the community year-round. The Sixth Street Play Area enriches the riverfront experience, complementing the Westminster Pier Park and future westward park expansion,” said Dean Gibson, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of New Westminster.
The BCPRA’s Parks Excellence Award recognizes outstanding design and development of park spaces using natural elements or repurposing materials, and which reflects innovative community culture, is accessible to all patrons, and encourages outdoor activity. In a press release on May 4, 2023, BCPRA highlighted the Sixth Street Play Area’s support of “the health and wellbeing of the community through improved connectivity, an expanded play program, and opportunities for social interaction,” as well as its “contribution to environmental health and climate resilience by integrating shade and weather protection with native and adaptive trees.”
Westminster Pier Park can be accessed via Columbia Street at the Fourth Street overpass and the Sixth Street overpass. Both entrances are accessible. In addition to the play area, the park includes a boardwalk, festival lawn, concession and washrooms, picnic tables and benches, and basketball court.
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