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Kinsmen Park: A Virtual Tour of Edmonton’s Parks

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Following one of the unpaved riverside trails east from Emily Murphy Park, our virtual discovery walk leads us to the site of our next installment, Kinsmen Park. Located in the heart of the city, it can be found on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River between the Garneau and Strathcona neighbourhoods. Though most of its trails are paved and manicured, visitors know that it serves the community in other ways. With the John Walter Museum, Kinsmen Sport Centre, and Queen Elizabeth Outdoor Pool, it plays a vital role in the North River Valley Park System. Today, we’d like to turn our attention to some of these attractions.

Water Spray Park

Kinsmen is home to one of Edmonton’s many spray parks. Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve been enjoying in the city, it’s closed for the season. During the summer months, however, the water play area is an ideal place to cool off with the family.

John Walter Museum

Named after the prominent business man and politician, John Walter, the titular museum is the site of his historical home and, incidentally, the first home built on the southern side of the North Saskatchewan River. Having arrived from Scotland in the late 1880s, Walter began his life in Edmonton with the Hudson’s Bay Company. Later he became an integral part of the city’s development, as he helped unify Edmonton with Strathcona. Now, visitors can explore his historic homestead, complete with costumed interpreters leading you around the grounds. You’ll have to hurry if you want to see it this year, as the museum closes its doors for the season at the start of December.

Kinsmen Sport Centre

When it was built, the sport centre was the first of its kind in the city, and it remains a unique facility to this day. With an Olympic-sized swimming pool, hockey rinks, and a performing art theatre, there’s always something going on at this rec centre. Visitors can take advantage of drop-in fitness classes and intermural sports, or sign up for regular classes following a seasonal schedule. Check out what’s going on now by looking at their online calendar.

Kinsmen Park is, of course, also a great destination if you’re looking to spend some time outdoors. Like the previous parks in our tour, you can find a variety of picnic sites, walking and cycling trails, playgrounds, and sport fields in the area, with washrooms and on-site parking available. If you’re planning on making a visit, we’re sure the remaining leaves turning colours will grab your attention, but like many of the parks in the River Valley System, Kinsmen is equally filled with coniferous trees. Once you’ve explored the various community attractions, we suggest you turn your sights to the evergreens littering the park. Unlike their deciduous cousins, they survive the winter with all of their leaves and cones intact.

Tis nearly the season to have one of these trees in your very own home, and you’ll be busy watering and decorating it soon. But don’t let the holiday season make you forget about your lawn maintenance. Those evergreens out on your property, though hardy, aren’t exactly impervious to the season. They need care, too.

While the City of Edmonton will take measures to ensure the various Spruce, Pine, and Poplar in the park are seen to properly, we urge you to consult one of our arborists for tips on how to care for your very own conifers. The winter wind, temperatures, and sun can cause excessive damage to trees, especially when they are young or newly planted. You can avoid sun scald and winter burn by creating barriers of burlap or plastic and thereby limiting the chances of causing injury to your evergreens.

With a quick check-in with our consultants, you can also learn the best way to ensure any of your coniferous species are prepared for the upcoming deep freeze. Until then, take the time to explore Kinsmen Park and all that it has to offer. You might just find a game of shinny to join!