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More cheap thrills from Jonathan Rogers Park

October 20, 2014

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Jonathan Rogers Park is less than two block away from the Go Green bottle depot so I ride by it a lot. I also stop and enjoy it from time to time.

The park boasts a washroom, soccer goal posts, a small children’s play area, a concrete wading pool which has not deliberately been filled in living memory and a small community garden. Mostly it is a one block rectangle of grass fringed on two sides by trees — and residents seem to like it that way.

Looking at it, big picture-wise

Jonathan R0gers Park is a good illustration of why I think fields of green are irresistible to cash strapped cities.

I think parks may be to cities what reality shows are to television networks — lots of bang for the buck and cheap at twice the price.

Putting a community centre and/or a public swimming pool on the land would be a fine thing and popular even but it would be — I think — much more expensive to operate and also it would make the land useful to fewer people in fewer ways.

Jonathan Rogers Park is really just a blank sheet of grass for the neighbourhood to find uses for.

  • It is a soccer pitch.
  • And a children’s playground.
  • As well as a place to set up a water slide in the summer.
  • And come autumn it’s a place to blow off fireworks at Halloween.
  • It is a year-round lunch room for employees from neighbouring businesses.
  • Not to mention a  place to let dogs run off-leash.
  • And it’s such a popular place for street people to camp that area residents nickname it “homeless guy park”.
  • It’s where I watched the Vancouver Police test a camera drone several years ago.
  • And where I once watched a woman practice a dance routine on stilts.
  • Lastly, it gives some of the best sky in Vancouver.

Is there a cheaper way to provide a popular neighbourhood amenity (that doesn’t involve opening a fire hydrant on a very hot summer’s day)? Click the image to enlarge it.

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