No tree cutting on Burnham Park’s redevelopment

Not a single tree will be removed or cut for the redevelopment of Burnham Park.

This was the assurance given by Architect Renato Heray, a member of the technical working group that prepared the new master development plan for Burnham Park. Heray gave the assurance during the presentation of the plan to the executive and legislative officials of the city on 30 September 2019.

“As it is now, Burnham Park is already beautiful. We just need to enhance the existing facilities and improve some portions,” Heray said.

Prior to the presentation, Mayor Benjamin Magalong ordered the posting of the initial plan to social media sites to generate public feedback. Most of the comments received call for more tree planting within the park and that no tree shall be sacrificed in the redevelopment.

The Children's Playground, Ibaloi Garden, Orchidarium, Melvin Jones Football Ground, Skating Rink and the construction of the Creative Arts Center at the Old Auditorium site were identified as priority projects in the redevelopment.

The TWG led by co-chairpersons Architect Joseph Alabanza and Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria Yaranon proposed a Cordillera themed park that can be appreciated by parkgoers while walking around the 34-hectare Burnham Park reservation.

LED lights will illuminate the park with well-lighted directional signages as well as sturdy benches, Heray said.

Atty. Rhenan Diwas, Assistant City Environment and Parks Management Officer, remarked the new master plan but reminded the TWG that materials to be used in the redevelopment should be readily available in the locality for maintenance and anticipated repairs.

He also suggest the consideration of sport facilities for adults in the Children’s Playground like bars for calisthenics training.

The TWG proposed one side of the Melvin Jones Football grounds as archery training range but members of the city council remarked that this is better as calisthenics training area since an archery range is already being developed beside the swimming complex at the Athletic Bowl.

City councilors also suggest the identification of training areas for softball, badminton and indigenous games within the Melvin Jones ground.

The master plan will be polished with the comments and suggestions from the public and city officials before this is submitted to the city council for endorsement.

The city government is negotiating a Php350 million fund from the Department of Budget and Management for the redevelopment of the park aside from the Php20 million for the landscaping from the State-owned Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). – Jessa Mardy Samidan