The township will be moving ahead in the development of a new park in Wellesley village at the corner of Queen’s Bush and Hutchison roads.
A project long in the works since the township first identified the need for more parkland in 2014, councillors gave it the go-ahead on Tuesday, approving the first phase of development.
Phase one will see the creation of a 1.6-km trail system in the west end of the 40-acre property, as well as an unpaved parking lot, and a driveway entrance off Queen’s Bush Road just west of the Wellesley fire station.
The work is estimated to ring in at $124,000, but the amount is being offset significantly by a $20,000 donation from the Wellesley Apple Butter and Cheese Festival, which pledged to support the project.
Construction is expected to begin in June or July, with township public works staff proposed to take on the majority of construction of the driveway access and parking lot in an effort to keep costs down, said township director of recreation Danny Roth in his report to council. Logging and trail work are expected to follow shortly thereafter in early August.
The township will also be seeking additional funding for the parkland development through grants, added Roth.
The trail system will cut through a woodlot on the property, but circles around wetlands identified by the township. “There are wetlands identified in the woodlot that will remain undisturbed in the trail development,” noted Roth in his report.
The majority of the trail (1.2 km) will consist of woodchips and other natural bases, while 0.4 km of the trail will be made of a stone dust that is “fully accessible.”
The development of the parkland marks a significant milestone for the township, which purchased the land in 2016 to the tune of $905,000. Thirty-two acres were purchased by the township outright from the previous owner, while the remaining eight acres were donated.
The plan for the parkland has since been vetted through a number of public meetings in the township.