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Imperial lot to become site of new park in Cold Lake

What started as an idea to bring people together has blossomed into a space that will showcase what Cold Lake is all about.

COLD LAKE - The city, chamber, and Imperial Oil are banding together to create a space unique to Cold Lake.

From marking Wolverine's roots to highlighting the city's natural atmosphere, the hope is to create a park that will bring it all together. 

“It started with an idea that it would be really great to have a Christmas tree at the gateway to downtown in a place where people can come together at Christmastime and it just expanded from there,” detailed Sherri Buckle, executive director of the Cold Lake and District Chamber of Commerce. 

The spot in mind is a piece of land owned by Imperial Oil right off of 55 Ave. 

The chamber approached a representative from the oil and gas company about their idea, and it just so happens the person at the time had seen it before. 

“The Imperial representative at the time was from Peace River and they had done something very much like that there, so it was easy for him to move the approval process along because he already understood what had gone on there,” Buckle outlined. 

Once they knew Imperial was on-board the chamber approached the city about getting involved and what started out as putting up a Christmas tree blossomed into a community space. 

During their corporate priorities meeting on April 20, council discussed the design submitted by the architect in addition to the features they would like to see included. 

This includes a statue marking Cold Lake's connection to comic book character Wolverine. 

In addition to the statue, the park will feature a skating loop, play area, a canopy, trees, and an eternal flame. 

“I think they did a great job of bringing everything together,” noted Coun. Vicky Lefebvre. 

The finer details have yet to be flushed out, such as where the washrooms will be located and if there is enough funding for all of these features. 

The current price tag for the project is estimated at $2.3 million, $500,000 of which is dedicated to a pavilion building and canopy, $175,000 for a playground, and $75,000 for site furniture, among other costs. The land will be donated by Imperial, while the chamber is looking at sponsorship, grants, and fundraising to cover the cost. 

City of Cold Lake CAO Kevin Nagoya said, "“There is a high-level order of magnitude when you’re looking at this type of budget... This is just a very high-level document right now. Those details, pens would be sharpened based on the detailed design when we get to that point, and that will be in conjunction with the local chamber."

“The design process has taken a little longer, but we want to make sure we’re getting it right and that it will be something the community will be able to enjoy for years to come,” Buckle told Lakeland This Week. 

Everyone involved wants the space to reflect what the city is all about. 

“That’s the idea, that we can create some synergy there, that we can have food trucks, a weekend market, a place where anyone can go,” stated Buckle.