Burnham Park conceptual master plan okayed

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BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved a resolution approving the conceptual master development plan of the 34-hectare Burnham Park complex subject to possible revisions and the conduct of public consultations with the concerned sectors of the city.

The resolution noted that Burnham Park is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city where residents as well as local and foreign tourists flock to visit but the park is reportedly in dire need of rehabilitation to sustain its identity as one of the premier tourist destinations in the city.

The resolution added that the present state of Burnham Park deserves immediate positive remedies to make Baguio City worthy of its prestigious designation as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative City that was bestowed to the city on October 31, 2017 or barely two years ago.

Resolution No. 192, series of 2019 authorized the local chief executive to create a technical working group composed of private and public technical experts to formulate the conceptual master development plan of the city’s major park.

According to the resolution, the conceptual master development plan that was presented to city officials was claimed by proponents as feasible and probably offers a long-term solution to address the current state of Burnham Park but the same must still be subject to more consultations with the different sectors and should also be open to possible revisions that will be introduced by other experts to be able to maintain the park as envisioned by Arch. Daniel Burnham who master planned the park over  a century ago.

The proposed re-development of Burnham Park includes the facelift of the Melvin Jones grandstand and football field, the Burnham lake, the children’s park, the put up of the desired creative center right in the site of the old orchidarium, the put up of a senior citizens park near the children’s park, the improvement of the Ibaloi Park and heritage garden, the improvement of the site of the orchidarium and the development of the whole of the Baguio Athletic Bowl and the area of the Pine Trees of the World.

Part of the possible improvements that will be introduced in the park will be the construction of a multi-level parking facility at the Ganza parking area to cater to the parking requirements of park goers, the put up of a fountain right at the centre of the Burnham Lake, the construction of basement parking in the creative center area, the transfer of the archery range to the Melvin Jones football field area, the improvement of the perimeters of the park among other possible repairs that will be recommended by the different sectors who were asked to provide inputs on the conceptual master development plan.

The conduct of the detailed feasibility study will be done right after the conceptual master development plan shall have undergone the necessary revisions pursuant to the suggestions and recommendations that will be gathered during the conduct of public consultations by the members of the local legislative body with the support of concerned offices of the local government with reference to the previous comprehensive master plans of the park that were presented to the local officials.

By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis

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