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Nelson’s IODE Park receives facelift

City work crews are planting eight species of trees, 40 shrubs

It won’t be an eyesore much longer.

As far as the city’s public works director Colin Innes is concerned, IODE Park was long overdue for a facelift. And now that work crews have removed an invasive species of tree, they’re getting ready to fill the landscape with eight new species of trees, 40 mixed shrubs, two new benches and a picnic table.

“We want it to be inviting,” Innes told the Star.

“It will be a nice refresh of the space. We want it to have inviting pathways that make you want to walk in and engage with the space, to sit down and have a cup of coffee.”

The plants and trees the crews are preparing to introduce come with some pretty interesting names — there’s a liquid amber maple tree and one called a sweet gum, and then clusters of blood grass and red feather grass will creep amidst the green carpet junipers.

There’s also one plant called a smoke bush, which produces beautiful flowers according to Innes, that will serve as a centre-piece.

“There’s going to be a bit more of a meandering pathway, with a proper surface. Right now we’re working on the water line, while we’re in there, then once that piece is out of the way we’ll shape the paths.”

The money for the renewal comes from the parks budget, as part of their routine maintenance projects. One element that has not been decided yet is how to deal with the graffiti-covered wall at the top.

“One thing we’ve been looking at is getting a mural, because then we’ll have a better chance of not having somebody tag over it. I think everybody here in town has an appreciation for art, and the nice thing about murals is it brings the art off the wall or out of the gallery and makes it part of the environment.”

He hopes residents will appreciate the new space, and will flock to it during summer months while shopping downtown or going for coffee with friends.

“We’re really going for something that fits the character of Nelson.”