LAKE LOUISE – Lake Louise added to its outdoor brilliance with the recent opening of new recreational enhancements.
Ready for use at the Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Centre, located off Village Road, is a "show piece" playground designed for adventurous children and newly built skateboard half-pipe.
The rec grounds will also get a tennis court and half basketball court addition, including new nets and safety fencing, which are on track to be completed by mid-July.
“Our job here is to give the locals a place where they can enjoy recreation,” said Danielle Morine, executive director at Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Centre. “Really, it’s one of the only places in Lake Louise that is primarily for residents and not for tourists.”
The final improvements also begin this month on a $2.5 million renovation and expansion of the community hall, funded by the government of Alberta's Municipal Sustainability Initiative. The hall is receiving a drop-in gym, multi-purpose room, and additional washrooms. It's expected to be completed by summer 2021.
The projects coming to fruition have been a “labour of love," said Morine, due to it “taking a bit longer” in the national park.
For the half-pipe, a local volunteer group raised $10,000 from residents and businesses to build the structure next to the playground.
Improvement District 9 (ID9), the municipal governing body for Banff National Park outside of the Town of Banff, which includes Lake Louise, received a $590,000 federal grant for the playground and tennis/half basketball courts.
Children will have lots of entertainment on the new playground, which has its highest platform at 14-feet and connects to a 14-foot tunnel slide. The playground also includes a tree house with a double-wide slider for younger children, a rock challenge wall, diamond climb and double wall climber, swing set, a stand and spin, and solo spin, among others.
Morine said feedback from the community was “loud and clear” for the rec ground enhancements to match the needs of the children living with the mountain culture.
“It took a long time to design what’s there right now because we wanted to make sure it’s not something cookie-cutter; these are not city kids. They’re downhill skiing by the time they can walk and they’re mountain biking, so it needed to have a certain level of challenge and risk to it,” Morine said, who’s also the CAO for ID9.