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Memorial Hirst Fly Through and Public Engagement

2019-2022 | Parksville, BC

The City of Parksville (the City) was focused on replacing their aging underground water, sanitary, and stormwater infrastructure along Memorial Avenue, while mitigating the effects of new infrastructure on the historical American Elm trees that lined the street. Memorial Avenue, one of the oldest streets in Parksville, was a living monument to Parksville’s fallen World War I soldiers. The original, century-old memorial elm trees were planted in 1922. The City didn’t know if their infrastructure replacements could be completed without damaging or removing the historic trees. 

To make an informed decision, the City engaged McElhanney’s skills, experience, and sensitivity. Given the community’s connection to the memorial trees, the project required a proactive public engagement campaign. 

A fly through visualization was identified as one of the most useful project communication tools available to McElhanney’s team. The fly through both supported the conceptual design process and served as a point of connection for public engagement. Our team used a 3D engineering computer model to create a fly through with detailed and realistic features like people walking, weather, lighting, and graphics of surrounding buildings.  

McElhanney’s public engagement campaign included early project communication with key interested parties, the development of a historical and project StoryMap website, “Walkshops” attended by interested parties, an online survey, a design workshop open to the public, and an internal engagement summary and public infographic. Throughout this engagement process, the fly through visualization served as a touchstone for community members on the City’s project engagement page. 

The Hirst and Memorial upgrades were completed in June 2022. “The City is extremely proud of this project and to see the vision for Memorial and Hirst Avenues reflect the community’s wishes while honoring the history of Memorial Avenue,” announced the City on July 2, 2022.  

100 years after the original Elm trees were planted, and with the addition of nine newly planted trees, Memorial Avenue continues to honor the memory of the men who lost their lives. 

McElhanney provided:

  • Interested party communication 
  • Walkshop sessions 
  • StoryMap webpage 
  • Design, interested party, and public workshops
  • Online survey
  • Fly through visualization
  • Internal engagement summary and infographic
There is a series of easels displaying poster featuring project related content. A group of people is gathered around the posters. One onlooker is reaching towards a poster and making an observation about it.
A poster board displays project information. Coloured sticky notes with hand-written comments are scattered across the posterboard.
A boulevard of mixed paved surfaces expands outward towards a tree-lined parking lot. There is curving concrete bench lining the boulevard.
A paved street is lined by deciduous trees. There is fresh landscaping and a concrete and wood bench next to the street.