St. Mary’s invites input on streetscape plan

By Helen Murphy    

SHERBROOKE – Local residents had an opportunity to share their ideas for a new streetscape plan for Sherbrooke during a workshop on Feb. 25, and a “pop-up workshop” at the municipal offices. The municipality is also hoping to engage higher-grade students at St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy in the planning process after they return from March Break.

Approximately 20 people attended the presentation and workshop, which included a presentation by Kelly Greenland, the municipality’s economic development and planning officer, about the project, current status, funding and next steps. A second brief presentation was made by Stephen Flemming, executive director at Historic Sherbrooke Village, who provided an overview of the village’s Rural Institute for Cultural Heritage and Environmental Sustainability (RICHES) project.

The workshop component of the evening was led by Upland Planning + Design Studio (the consultants for the Streetscaping Plan for Sherbrooke) where participants had an opportunity to indicate which types of streetscape elements — such as planters, benches, signage and lighting — they thought would work well along the Main St. route from Court St. to the Old Road Hill.

“Overall it was a very successful evening with lots of positive feedback and ideas,” Greenland told The Journal. “The idea that we want to make this area more physically inviting was well received and the participation level was very much appreciated.”

The municipality also gathered input through a “pop-up workshop” in the main lobby at the municipal offices, said Greenland. Large-scale maps and markers were provided along with instructions and staff were available to help if needed.

Upland Planning + Design Studio was selected as the chosen consultant through the RFP process that was initiated in December 2018. They were awarded the contact on January 15, 2019 and have been engaged in the project since that time. To date they have been busy with compiling field information through site visits and mapping and policy research, preparing for and analyzing the results of the workshops and the feedback from the pop up workshop.

The next steps will include Upland engaging some other key stakeholders to gain further insights and feedback on the potential improvement ideas. The target for a draft plan for review by the municipality and for community presentation is the end of April.