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Brown explains final draft

Community revitalization plan covers many areas

Malcolm Gorrill
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 14/01) - Plans to revamp Jim Koe Park were among the possibilities discussed at a public meeting Tuesday on the final draft of the Town of Inuvik's community revitalization vision plan.

A small group of people listened as David Brown, principal with Gibbs and Brown Landscape Architects Ltd., outlined the main tenets of the plan. Earlier this year the town hired Gibbs and Brown to develop the plan.

Gibbs and Brown had supplied a draft version of the plan in July, and were provided comments on it from local people and groups.

Brown explained that much of the plan centres on five key areas identified back in June at a workshop in Inuvik. One area is redeveloping Jim Koe Park into more of a community gathering and marketplace.

"With regards to Jim Koe Park, we really see this as being a real sort of flagship for the revitalization project," Brown said.

"This could be sort of the catalyst, the beginning of maybe implementing a lot more main street development." Reworking main street to make it more pedestrian friendly, and more attractive generally, is another area covered.

Another key area is dealing with litter control and waste management, which Brown acknowledged the town has already made progress on.

Also included in the vision plan is more effective implementation of the parks and trails network, and developing attractive gateways that give a strong sense of place for Inuvik.

A new gateway is proposed for near the hospital, so people would spot it upon reaching the top of the hill when entering town along Mackenzie Road.

Brown said the plan lays out goals and ways to achieve them for about five years, but that it's not set in stone.

"The nice thing about a vision plan, it's not a set thing. It's very fluid."

Brown warned that many vision plans get shelved or flounder, and said the town's Community Beautification Committee could play a key role by meeting once a month and measuring the plan's progress.

Mayor Peter Clarkson agreed that it's important to do work on an ongoing basis, so people can see some progress. He used the work done to Boot Lake park and the boat launch area this summer as examples.

Next summer the town is planning on doing work to the trail around Boot Lake, and building a walking bridge across the creek at the other end.

More interest

Brian Desjardins, Inuvik's tourism-fundraising co-ordinator, said there seems to be more interest now in community beautification, and that it's good to have the final plan.

"It gives us a definite vision. We kind of know what to do now," Desjardins said. "It's just a matter of making it happen."