Home Ground design Kingsmeade Park closed due to flooding

Kingsmeade Park closed due to flooding

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The City of St. Albert has identified factors that contributed to the flooding and will bring in contractors to restore the site once the snow melts and the ground thaws, a spokesperson said.

The playground at the new St. Albert All-Weather Park is closed due to flooding.

Kingsmeade Park officially opened on February 27, featuring walking paths, a playground and a closed outdoor ice rink. The play structure is currently sealed due to water accumulation on the surface of the structure.

City spokesman Cory Sinclair said in an email that the city is working with its contract partners to determine if the flooding is one-time or if the park design will need to be adjusted.

“The design should provide adequate drainage around and under the playing field, but clearly isn’t working as intended,” Sinclair said in the email.

Sinclair said the City — in partnership with its contractors — has identified several issues that appear to be contributing to the flooding, including under-drainage under the playground, which as of April 1 was still frozen.

“This is an unusual year, with a rapid surface melt of a heavier than normal snowpack, before the ground below thawed out,” Sinclair said in the email. “It also resulted in higher than normal surface runoff from the surrounding farmer’s field.”

Other issues that have exacerbated flooding include runoff from seeded areas and new plantings, and snow accumulation left from trail clearing that redirects water from its intended drainage pattern.

Sinclair said the sand in the playground is also uneven, causing pooling.

“Playground sand should be backfilled and re-spread after the first full season in any playground construction due to sedimentation,” Sinclair said in the email.

Municipal contractors will work to restore the site after the snow melts and the ground thaws, which will include cleaning up sediment and gravel and resolving sand issues.

“Staff will continue to monitor the site and pump water as needed to maintain security,” Sinclair said. “Residents are asked to avoid using the playground when it is flooded for health and safety reasons.”

Sinclair noted that flooding from thawing snow can be worse in some years. He said the river can also flood St. Albert’s trail system depending on how high the river is just before winter.

“Usually by the end of May, after the ground thaws, all the standing water is gone,” Sinclair said in the email.

Trail Tales

While Kingsmeade Park’s playground is off-limits, one of St. Albert Public Library’s Trail Tales – individually laminated book pages that attach to trees, fences and street signs – recently was installed nearby.

Anthea Dacruz-Smith, an outreach assistant for the library, was out on March 30 to distribute the library’s latest Trail Tale in Kingsmeade Park.

Trail Tale readers can now explore Nora Shalaway Carpenter’s Yoga Frog. Dacruz-Smith said the Trail Tale will be live for three weeks.