Rick Ladouceur, Manager of Recreation, Arts and Culture Amanda Ragsdale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

With a budget of $180,000, the new Drumheller Valley manager of Recreation, Arts and Culture, Rick Ladouceur, is moving forward with his Master Plan to revive and safeguard parts of Rosedale and Newcastle. Ball diamonds, playgrounds, the dog park and both the Newcastle rink and beach are the main focus of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

An estimated $65,000 will be spent on the ball diamonds in Rosedale and Newcastle and will be the first of the many projects. Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg stated during the Monday, February 5, 2024, Regular Council Meeting that she would like to see the ball diamonds take first priority. 

“Our ball players have been extremely patient with our diamonds so I would love to see those moved up, so maybe we need to switch around what gets done first,” says Mayor Colberg. 

Ladouceur agrees with the Mayor and has said they are first on the list to be completed.

“It’s the main priority,” says Ladouceur, “The ball diamonds need to be like every other ball diamond. Safety has to come first and it’s simple things like the posts needing to be on the outside of the infield. There’s a capping that we need to put around the ball diamond because if somebody goes to reach for a foul ball trying to catch it, you’re going up against the fencing and can really hurt yourself. Those are easy fixes that we can do. Ball diamond number two needs a new backstop because any foul balls can damage cars, and have damaged cars, and building up the shale within the infield, it needs a little TLC.” There are also irrigation lines that need to be addressed and fixed as well as gopher control, being they’re an ongoing problem.

$50,000 will be put towards revamping the playgrounds and bringing them up to proper safety codes. $30,000 will go towards the dog park, extending it and adding fun obstacles for the dogs, and picnic tables for people to sit and enjoy watching their pets play. 

Newcastle Rink and Newcastle Beach are also in the works to get face lifts at a cost of $35,000. 

The rink itself is showing its age and it’s just not safe. We need to fix up the boarding with a little replacing, sanding and paint. The cement slab is still really good, which is going to be great for Pickleball courts, basketball hoops and we’re thinking about putting in a batting cage, or maybe even two” says Ladouceur. There will also be a lock and scan type system put in place for people to rent and return equipment. “This really isn’t about making money but more so that people are being responsible for the equipment,” assures Ladouceur. 

“For the beach, it might be as simple as laying some sand down, yes it’ll cost money, but it’ll be wonderful to see that more developed. There’s history behind it. At one time it was the place to be, people went there all the time,” explains Ladouceur. 

The projects will start this spring and the majority of the work will be done by Fall 2024.

By Amanda Ragsdale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Feb 21, 2024 at 06:00

This item reprinted with permission from   The Drumheller Mail   Drumheller, Alberta

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