Pier Park urban beach opens this weekend

Workers are putting the final touches on a new urban beach at the east end of New Westminster
Workers are putting the final touches on a new urban beach at the east end of New Westminster's Pier Park. The beach is scheduled to open on Saturday.

Gather up your beach towels, sand buckets and sun screen.

The urban beach on Timber Wharf, at the east end of Pier Park, is scheduled to open on Saturday.

Although, said Dean Gibson, New Westminster's director of parks and recreation, it's still a bit of a work in progress.

Gibson said while the sand, logs and expansive wood seating areas, as well as a row of shade trees will all be in place, the umbrellas envisioned for the site aren't yet ready from the manufacturer.

"They're just not an item you walk into Wal-Mart and buy," said Gibson.

The beach is built on top of the asphalt deck that was left undeveloped after the completion of the first phase of Pier Park in 2012. It will be a temporary feature until the city can secure the funding to bolster the structural supports of that end of the park to fully develop it. That could take years.

In the meantime, said Gibson, visitors will be able to dig their toes into the tons of beach sand that was dredged from the upper reaches of the Fraser River. Although kids won't be able to bury dad up to his neck in the sand as it's only about a foot deep.

"It'll be up to people's imaginations as to how they use it," said Gibson of the new beach, which was budgeted to cost $65,000.

The beach is adjacent to two beach volleyball courts which were added to the park last year.

An off-leash dog park, fitness area and a sculptural water garden featuring play misters will be built in the fall, said Gibson.

"We just couldn't technically get to that aspect," he said.

In total the project is budgeted to cost nearly $310,000.


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