Count down on the summer is underway, school age children and teens start to hear the not too distant ringing of the school bells, days begin later and end sooner, the CNE is open, vacation days are behind most of us … but the WCNA Parks and programs carry on full tilt!!
The very nice comments on the Naval Reserve Band Concert continue to be shared and meeting folks who have taken up the discovery of the Parks for the first time as a result of their attendance at the Band Concert, is also most pleasing.
Listen for the interesting sounds of a Piper marching through the Parks playing his Bagpipes … Morgan Stanford, a professional piper , has volunteered to bring his skill and music to our Parks some evenings. A wonderful surprise addition to a summer’s evening, bringing more and different music to our area. Thanks Morgan!!
Remember the evening of September 8th, in Cindy Drive Park, the annual “Star Gazing Night” with the very knowledgeable members of the Niagara Chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society, who will again share the sky through their telescopes. Bring your lawn chair, maybe a jacket and enjoy this opportunity to explore of the night sky. The nearby playground can entertain the younger folks while we all wait for the sky to properly darken.
The City’s Heritage Committee has a new commemorative plaque being installed near the Parks. Recognizing the Hostetter Family Cemetery on September 8th. Chcck out this attachment Hostetter%20invite.docx for details. (11:00 AM, Sunday September 8th at the west end of Jarrow Road)
The St. Catharines War of 1812 Bicentennial Steering Committee, with the St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canal Centre, have organized “Ghost Walks” in Victoria Lawn Cemetery 432 Queenston St, St Catharine’s. . September 7, 8, 14 and 15 “Guided Spirit Walks” will begin at 7:00 PM and September 8 and 15 there are also “Guided Spirit Walks” at 5:00 PM. Registration is required … call 905-984-8880 … a fee of $8.00 is being charged per person.
It’s a fine time to explore the Parks making note of the growth of plants, the late flowering beauties… “Japanese Lanterns” are hanging bright by some of the pathways .. a very attractive ornamental plant in the late summer, but highly invasive, so adding them to your personal garden is not a ‘good idea’!! … and the wild grapes are darkening nicely … sour as all get out but an interesting taste for those lovers of the real thing … and soon 30 trees will be sporting the Identification Tags, listing both the common English Name and the Latin identity. How many of the nine ‘Geocache’ locations have you located … great sport for the Geocaching competitor … and lots of places for more secret locations!! And if the rains come, the grassy areas will be green again … I am told!!
The City’s Accessibility Committees members have now surveyed Walker’s Creek South and North and the next area to be reviewed is Cindy Drive Park. Sharing the challenges these good folks experience as they navigate the existing parks and pathways, is most valuable as the WCNA prepares to encourage more mobility and handicapped folks enjoying and participating in the pleasures our Parks offer. This will be a multi-year project and given the close attention these volunteers offer does mean that there is a bright future for increased enjoyment by all in the WCNA string of seven Parks.
You can help by …
>>>Cyclists are asked to ring their bells when approaching walkers, especially those with their dogs on leashes, to advise them of your approach. The sudden appearance of a cyclist can be frightening and can make for undesirable accidents, something no one wants to happen.
>>> Increased use of the Pathways by riders of the silent electric powered ‘E-bikes’ is becoming evident. Please keep your speed down and definitely alert walkers to your approach … considerate usage of the Pathways can allow for continued enjoyment by all.
>>> Looking for a Saxophone Player, willing to volunteer the occasional evening in the Parks to add more music to our natural setting. Contact us … PLEASE … through the ‘Comment” section at this website. Mellow sax music, wafting through a fine summer/autumn evening, can be a soothing and entertaining event … adding enjoyment, in a surprising way, to local folks.
>>>Dumping your garden detritus in the bushes and by the Creek in the Parks can carry a hefty fine as a Bylaw forbids this practice. Please use available disposal methods and not place your undesired materials in the Parks! Getting fined can be a costly affair … proper disposal is much cheaper!!
>>>Recently we have been told of more folks who find their calls to City Departments going unresolved or unanswered. Maybe the WCNA can help … only if we know of your concerns and difficulties. We may know which Department can be most helpful and so speed up answers or action. Also City Hall wants to know how well they are communicating with citizens and the WCNA can assist in that process. Using the “Comment” section of this website is the preferred method for informing us. And your City Councillors are also very valuable resources.
A very fine evening … Cindy Drive Park, dancing sunshine, the odd drop of ‘moisture’ … and happy folks enjoyed the Naval Reserve Band concert and their hour long display of musicality, skill, humour, with familiar tunes from movies and Broadway Shows, topped off with toe-tapping marches.
The 35 member Band, made up of Naval Reservist musicians from Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba are on a summer tour that has included the massive Nova Scotia Tattoo, concerts on Parliament Hill, in ‘Mel Lastman Square’ in Toronto and many smaller venues, like our Cindy Drive Park, Simcoe Park in NOTL, a stop-over in Fenlon Falls and a final summer appearance at the CNE. They played to a most appreciative crowd … larger by many more than was anticipated … and the fine music was backed by the happy sounds of children enjoying the nearby Playground.
One Band member remarked , “We’ve played before much larger crowds but seldom has there been the enthusiastic response to our music that we experienced here tonight!!” He also noted that the Band had never seen so many quiet dogs at any of their concerts!! One couple, with children and family dog in tow, made a point of seeking out a WCNA Director … “This was wonderful … where else could a family come to an outdoor event right in our neighbourhood, where the kids could safely play, the dog lie quietly with us while we really enjoyed the Band and the music … please do more of these!!” Comments from many folks indicated this was the fitst time they had been into the Park … and happily they expressed intentions to explore more and discover all these wonderful, natural parks have to offer.
The WCNA is most appreciative of the support given by City Council, particularly Councilors Bill Phillips and Dawn Dodge, and the generous assistance by staff of the Recreation and Community Services Department. And thanks to the nearby residents to the Concert site who came and joined the crowd or simply chose to enjoy the event from within their own backyards … wonderful cooperation!!
AND WHAT’S UP??
We are looking into the Weather Crystal Ball to see if we can find a an evening without rain on which to hold the twice postponed “Town Hall Meeting In the Park”. This informal evening session with Grantham Ward Councillors Bill Phillips and Dawn Dodge in Cindy Drive Park is a good time to learn about what’s new and what’s planned, to get answers to your questions and to make suggestions to our City Council members. Watch this website for proposed dates … again!!
The annual “Star Gazing Night” is planned for the evening of Saturday, September 8 in Cindy Drive Park. This annual event, when the WCNA hosts the Niagara Chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society, is a favourite. With a variety of telescopes , folks get to view sections of the night sky and see close-up what may be distant dim dots of light!! With knowledgeable amateur astronomers sharing their enthusiasm and awareness of what is ‘up there’, youngsters and adults are encouraged to see and discover what is happening in the night sky at that time of year. This is a “Weather Permitting” program with a “Bring your lawn chair ‘ advisory.
The City Heritage Committee is organizing an installation of a commemorative plaque, marking an additional early settler’s family cemetery in the area. This event, tentatively planned for the daytime on September 8th, will be the second such historical plaque located in the area, the first being the Darby Family Cemetery commemorative plaque in Cindy Drive Park, close to the new playground. Watch for details here as that event’s plans are finalized.
And for those folks who plan well in advance, circle November 19th when the Community Learning Department of Brock University will present a “Conversation Cafe” at the Grantham Lions’ Club on Niagara Street. Looking at where technology now impacts daily life, these conversations are a sharing of views, insights and discussions that clarify and entertain. Beginning at 7:00 PM, the hour and half program, hosted by the WCNA, is an interesting and informative way to share your views and hear what others are thinking.