The focus of downtown greening efforts are now shifting to Yale Road.
Planting beds will be going in next month on the stretch of road from Five Corners heading east to Nowell Street.
“It’s a continuation of the improvements that were completed on Wellington Avenue,” said Alvin Bartel, chair of the Downtown Chilliwack BIA’s greening and urban design committee.
The downtown core has been a bit of a “mishmash,” design wise, with concrete sidewalks, old brick sections and gutter trenches with grates, said Bartel, an architect with Craven Huston Powers.
“None of that was working,” he said.
BIA officials came up with some ideas for the greening project, and worked closely with city parks and engineering staff to make the changes estimated to cost about $100,000.
They started by removing some of the “islands” in red brick, between the curb and the sidewalk, and replaced them with lovely landscaping beds.
“Wellington looks great now,” Bartel said. “But Yale Road never got any attention, so that’s where we’ll be turning our focus.”
The extra plant matter in the landscaping beds will help the city reduce its carbon footprint by absorbing carbon dioxide, and producing oxygen.
“Over and above that, we had issues with the garbage receptacles downtown,” he said.
Mischief incidents were becoming too common with the barrel-style garbage containers. They were often knocked over or fires were set in them. Sometimes people tried to dump off their household waste in them.
In response, the BIA bought 10 stainless recycling/waste bins to replace the open waste receptacles.
“It’s about getting people to start diverting their waste into different streams,” he said.
There is no curbside waste collection downtown currently provided by the city’s contractors.
“Maybe that’s something we can look at one day,” Bartel added.
In the meantime the new landscaping beds will offer a softening of the look of the streets with added colour and variation.
“It will be a big visual improvement,” he predicted.
Downtown Chilliwack Business Improvement Association and Chilliwack Economic Partners Corp. each contributed 25 per cent, while the City of Chilliwack chipped in 50 per cent of the greening project costs.
The start of the Yale Road phase of the work is dependent on city crew availability in September.