A Grade 7 student has penned an adorable letter thanking the City of North Vancouver for lighting up The Green Necklace central path at Grand Boulevard Park.
While the project's completion was delayed around five months, the new light fixtures at the popular greenway were finally switched on last Friday (Feb. 26) making the lives of residents who frequent the park a little brighter.
The $1 million project to light the 1.5-kilometre path, which takes pedestrians from East 19th Street at the north end to East Keith Road at the south end, with lamps, was first announced in 2019, and was scheduled to be completed by fall 2020 but there were a couple of bumps in the road.
“The original schedule had the project completed by fall 2020 so Grand Boulevard users could feel comfortable using the pathway after dark throughout the winter,” Stephanie Smiley, spokesperson for the City of North Vancouver, said.
“However, the project was delayed due to site construction conditions – large boulders and rocks beneath the surface that slowed excavation and slowed installation of wiring – and due to pandemic-related delivery delays of critical hardware components. Delivery schedules have been severely impacted by the pandemic.”
Nevertheless, Avery, a North Vancouver seventh-grader, was thrilled the lights had now been switched on.
In a letter to Mayor Linda Buchanan, she expressed her gratitude to her for “keeping our city safe.”
“I am writing to you so I can thank you for helping,” she wrote. You have helped a lot with keeping our city safe and clean. I love taking walks on Grand Blvd. Now that the city has installed lamps, I will be able to see more clearly later at night on walks.”
Avery’s not the only one who enjoys the Green Necklace at Grand Boulevard either; it’s one of the city’s most popular greenways. In fact, over 160,000 trips along the central path were taken in 2020, according to the city.
Smiley said the light fixtures were carefully chosen to compliment the historic character of both the park and the neighbourhood, while providing sufficient light without causing “light pollution.”
The city installed the pedestrian-scale lighting along the entire length of the path to make the route more comfortable and safe for users.
“Now more than ever our parks and paths need to be accessible and safe,” Buchanan said.
“Lighting along the central path of Grand Boulevard will enhance this public space for the community and allow for greater use.
“Supporting the walkability of neighbourhoods is key as we work toward our goal of becoming the ‘Healthiest Small City in the World.’”
Elisia Seeber is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.