Save Edmonton North Saskatchewan River Valley Parkland, STOP Gold Bar Park rezoning.

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The Edmonton North Saskatchewan River Valley is the Largest Urban Green Space in North America (18,000 acres). With over 20 parks and 22 ravines scattered throughout the city, this Ribbon of Green is equivalent to 22 times the size of New York City’s Central Park.

The Edmonton North Saskatchewan River Valley Parks system is used daily by people of all ages and from all walks of life. From locals to visitors, infants to elderly, recreational to professional athletes, Nature enthusiasts to World-class festival and Sporting events goers, Edmonton’s River Valley offers an escape to anyone needing a break from the busy city life. This parkland also provides Nature preservation, habitat for native Wildlife species and helps facilitate their migration through our city core.

As the city expands its boundaries and increases the density of its downtown core, The Edmonton River Valley is undergoing now, more stress than it has ever before. The ongoing projects and latest threats that (would) negatively impact Edmonton River Valley Parkland have been for Commercial but also Civic use (Funicular, Private residence in ravines, proposed solar farm, proposed Edmonton River Walk Promenade, etc…)

Alberta Provincial and Regional Founding Fathers had the foresight to protect the North Saskatchewan River Valley back in 1915; They considered the protection of this green space as a true Alberta heritage. In 1983 Edmonton City Council asked for a revised plan for protection and use of the river valley and parks. Council adopted The North Saskatchewan River Valley Area Redevelopment Plan Bylaw 7188 in 1985 with the purpose of “protecting the North Saskatchewan River Valley and Ravine System as part of Edmonton's valuable open space heritage and to establish the principles for future implementation plans and programmes for parks development. This Plan then becomes the first part of a comprehensive River Valley and Ravine management programme, by enunciating policies and a plan of action”.

Recently, EPCOR communicated their intention to submit an application to the city of Edmonton, to rezone Parkland within Gold Bar Park to allow for an expansion of their Waste Water Treatment Plant. The project includes the construction of a new Operations Centre within their existing footprint, and construction of a surface parking lot and secure elevated employee walkway southwest of the current facility on the proposed annexed Parkland.

The current land zoning for the area EPCOR is applying to rezone is defined as: "A - Metropolitan Recreational Zone. The purpose of this Zone is to preserve natural areas and parkland along the river, creeks, ravines and other designated areas for active and passive recreational uses and environment protection in conformance with Plan Edmonton and the North Saskatchewan River Valley Area Redevelopment Plan”. Ref: Edmonton Zoning Bylaw 12800

This petition urges city council to protect any existing North Saskatchewan River Valley Parkland and to reject EPCOR’s application to rezone Parkland within Gold Bar Park.

As City of Edmonton residents and enthusiast River Valley Parkland users, we feel that:

•    EPCOR's planned use for the land, ie employee parking, is not a critical need and does not justify the irreversible loss of valuable parkland. There is existing parking available in the adjacent lot straight East of the Gold Bar Waste Water Treatment Plant, and EPCOR has admitted that many other commuting solutions have not even been looked at (Shuttle, transit, etc…)

•    Edmonton City Council should protect the existing Parkland within Gold Bar Park and the North Saskatchewan River Valley area, in general, to preserve it for City of Edmonton residents and future generations. Rezoning of urban parkland anywhere in our River Valley is a loss to all City residents and visitors.

•    Rather than rezoning invaluable parkland, the City of Edmonton should ask EPCOR to find a solution for its facility and parking needs, which aligns with the environmental and sustainability mandates of our City.

We need you. We need your voice. We need your support. Please sign and share this petition to help protect existing Edmonton North Saskatchewan River Valley Parkland and stop any rezoning application within the Gold Bar Park.

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