Why is the City changing W.W. Ashley District Park?
Properties surrounding the 1st Street/Dufferin Avenue and Taylor Street/Broadway Avenue intersections experience flooding during intense rain events. After two rain flooding events in 2017, City Council directed that something be done to reduce risk of future flooding. The most feasible solution is to construct a dry pond in W.W. Ashley District Park to temporarily hold rain water that will be redirected from the problem intersections.
What is a dry pond?
A dry pond is a storage area that temporarily holds rain water during intense rain events. The water is stored in the pond temporarily before it drains back into the underground pipe system. It is different from a wet pond in that most of the time the dry pond will not hold any water and can be used as park space.
How often will the dry pond have water in it?
The dry pond will be designed to hold the water that would otherwise be flooding streets and nearby properties during intense rain events. Water in the pond can be expected once or twice a year on average. Water will drain out of the pond within eight hours after a storm, depending on the storm intensity.
How will W.W. Ashley District Park be impacted?
The sport field area of W.W. Ashley District Park will be constructed into a dry pond with a depth of approximately 4.5 meters (15 feet) where side slopes of the pond were optimized and softened, to contain the required storm water volume for a 1-in-10 year storm and incorporate green space use. The sports field will be reduced and new pathways and seating notes will be incorporated with aesthetic landscaping. While the construction will impact parking and access to area at the north end temporarily, there will be no changes to the paddling pool, accessible playground, skateboard park, Lathey Pool, or J.S. Wood Library.
Will I still be able to use W.W. Ashley District Park for sports and leisure activities?
The pond is large enough for a junior sports field and other informal recreational activities, such as dog walking, kite flying and regular family park usage.
When will the sport field programming at W.W. Ashley District Park be moved to Aden Bowman Collegiate?
A full-sized sports field was developed in 2019 at Aden Bowman Collegiate to replace the existing field in the W.W. Ashley District Park, with brand new terrain, trees, seating and irrigation. The new field will be available for public use in May 2021.
What is the City doing to alleviate parking shortages in the area?
We heard concerns about parking shortages, particularly during sporting events held at W.W. Ashley District Park. Public engagement feedback included both support and strong opposition to changing the existing parallel parking to angle parking on Albert Avenue. Alternatively, the City and Aden Bowman Collegiate added new parking spaces, west of the school.
How is the project being funded?
W.W. Ashley District Park Dry Storm Pond is the first of nine projects that will address flooding at Saskatoon's most flood-prone areas through the nine-year $54 million Flood Control Strategy. The Government of Canada is contributing 40% of the eligible construction costs up to a maximum of $21.6 million. The City is funding the remaining construction costs through the Storm Water Utility Capital Program and revenue generated from the Storm Water Utility storm water management charges.
When will construction occur?
Reconstruction of the Aden Bowman Collegiate sport field is expected to begin in July 2019 and be completed by September 2019. Construction of the dry pond at W.W. Ashley District Park and the surrounding storm sewer upgrades will begin in spring 2021 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
What is the Flood Control Strategy?
If you've ever experienced flood damage, you know how devastating it can be. Though parts of Saskatoon have always been susceptible to flooding, and flood protection measures to date have helped, climate change is expected to bring more frequent and intense storms.
Work has begun to protect as many people and properties as we can with 9 projects to reduce flood risk in Saskatoon's most flood-prone areas between 2019 and 2028. Learn more about Saskatoon's Flood Control Strategy.
Will trees be impacted by the project?
New trees will be planted as part of the landscaping plan; however, at least one tree is expected to be removed during construction. Several new trees were planted around the reconstructed sport field at Aden Bowman Collegiate.
Will there be a fence around the dry pond?
The City will not be installing additional fencing in order to keep the park inviting for use the majority of the time when the dry pond bottom is not holding water. While there will be a safety risk from the water during and immediately following intense rain events, a fence also creates safety risks of falls and entrapment. Fences also detract from aesthetics, can catch debris, and require frequent maintenance. Fences should only be used when their risk reduction and advantages outweigh the additional risks and disadvantages.
What are the soil and groundwater conditions in W.W. Ashley District Park?
A geotechnical investigation including three boreholes to eight meters below the current ground surface was completed in the Park in July, 2019. The ground conditions encountered were silts, clays and some sand of the Stratified Surficial Deposits, typically found in this area of Saskatoon. Instrumentation was installed to enable the City to monitor the groundwater levels and enable an efficient dry pond design. The water level observed through regular groundwater monitoring was about 1 meter above the base of the pond. A sub-drainage system has been designed and will be installed to collect and transport groundwater away from the base of the pond.