Growth and Progress are positive signs of the role the Walker’s Creek Neighbourhood Association can foster. And this past week has shown some prime examples of that development.
The Thursday morning “Walks In The Parks” for the WCNA connected Parks have now become history. Many more folks joined in these morning jaunts, visiting five to the seven parks, being introduced to the many varieties of plants and flora that make the Parks special, seeing how this original watercourse adds dimension to the area and recognizing that amidst the residential areas, there are oasis of calm, beauty and interest. Delighted to have folks join these walks for their first venture into the Parks, discovering first hand what can become a regular walking tour. Even for the folks who regularly enjoy the Parks, Della Trojan, WCNA Vice Chair, introduced new insights, recent and past history and special features that they had not known existed.
Consideration will be given to an Evening Walk or two as the fall foliage takes on its colour and the shift from the busy summer growing season to the preparation for the coming colder months, while allowing the viewing of the inner most areas and their natural settings. Watch this website for dates and times.
Malcolmson Eco-Park is offering “Walks In The Park” through that unique area each Thursday in October, beginning at 10:00 AM from the parking area off Lakeshore Road at the end of Niagara Street. This Park, dedicated to a natural habitat contains many special features ranging from grassland prairies to bogs to a very special Learning Centre used extensively by school children. Very knowledgeable leaders will enlighten and explain this Parks delights, where trails wander though the Park offering alternative routes and experiences.
Delighted to discover that construction has begun on the New Pathway that will connect Grantham and Niagara Streets through the old Arboretum, a part of Pearson park we refer to as “Reach Eight”. This new pathway when completed, will allow everyone, including mobility challenged folks, to take a shortcut to the new Library and Pool, easier access to Niagara Street and more direct passage to the Scott Street Shopping Plaza while providing an easy route for Laura Secord Secondary School students going to and coming from school. Exploration of the Arboretum will also be enhanced. This site of many mature specimen trees is a cool picnic spot in summer and a delight year round for the many dog walkers in the area. The New Pathway will follow the visible Creek from where it exits from its underground passage from the WalMart Plaza to Grantham before disappearing again under Laura Secord Secondary school, homes and the Scott Street Plaza to resurface at Scott Street where it remains open to the Lake. Special thanks to Councillors Washuta and Phillips for encouraging the Recreation and Community Services Department of the City to undertake the creation of this new pathway.
A special plea to all residents adjacent to the Parks … while the frequency of grass clippings ending up on the Creek side has diminished significantly, folks who are using the refuse barrels to get rid of their grass clippings are seriously asked to seek another way to rid themselves of these compostible materials. Leaving the clippings on the lawn to provide mulch and moisture retention items is the preferred way to avoid having to send grass clippings to the landfill sites. They add to the health of the lawn and make use of something that is otherwise offensive in larger quantities. Similarly, household garbage should not be deposited in the Park refuse barrels as these receptacles are meant for the litter and bagged dog droppings of the Parks and receive only occasional emptying, whereas being filled with other materials defeats their ability to do the job for which they are intended.
The WCNA is aware of three possible sources of new funding through grants, but we are in need of a person or persons willing to help us take on the challenge of preparing these grant proposals. Theses significant grants can add funding for everything from pathway improvements for mobility challenged folks, the addition of native trees to extra efforts where the Walker’s Creek enters the Lake. These grants, from the Provincial Government and Private Foundations are there for the asking and past grants received by the WCNA have added special trees, creek side stabilization and other improvements within the Parks. Please let us know you can and will say “YES!” to this request.
The October WCNA Community Meeting will offer discussion and information, courtesy of a Master Gardener, on preparing your gardens for the winter season … save, preserve and enjoy the beauty again next year … makes sense to me!! Watch this website for the date and times.
Celebrating ten years of community involvement, the Walker’s Creek Neighbourhood Association has proven to be a significant advocate for the Parks and the adjacent neighbourhoods. Community events, opportunities to have residents’ opinions shared, mutually seeking solutions to concerns and watching over the Parks with an eye to naturalization, pleasure and relaxation, the past continues into the present and includes plan for the future.
We happily recognize this tenth year and appreciate the volunteer efforts of all who have made this Neighbourhood Association worthy of continued success.
The present Board of Directors
The final WCNA Park Walk is upon us. Thursday, September 27, at 10:00 AM, folks can meet at the Cindy Drive entrance to Cherie Park and walk the final park to the Lake. If you have not visited the bluff overlooking Lake Ontario, be sure to bring your camera and enjoy the vista, the openness and perfect place for families to gather and play. With the cooler days, these Walks have been a fun time and a good way to become familiar with the Walker’s Creek Parks as well as meet new folks while learning about all the hidden and secret items within the Parks.
Malcomson Eco-Park will offer four Thursday morning Walks, 10:00 AM start times, meeting at the entrance to the Eco-Park off Lakeshore Road at the end of Niagara Street, with plenty of parking inside the Park entrance. On October 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th, Malcomson Park leaders will share the wonders of this natural area, its unique Learning Centre and its varied habitat. From prairie grasses to a living Carolinian forest, there is lots to see, and plenty to learn about in this Park, with highly knowledgeable leaders showing the way.
The WCNA will be considering some early evening Walks as Autumn colours appear and the familiar parks make the adjustment to the coming cold season. The morning Walks have been well attended, and we do realize that there may be many folks who, because of other commitments, can’t attend in the daytime … so maybe early evenings will be appealing to you and your family. Watch this website for dates, times and locations.
Good News!! The Recreation and Community Services department is planning on creating a new solid pathway from Grantham to Niagara Streets, bordering the Creek through the old Arboretum. This path will be a nice addition to the pathways and wandering the Arboreteum will be a wonderful pleasure with mature specimen trees showing their beauty, grace and uniqueness. This pathway will also allow neigbours to take a shortcut to these streets, High School students to Laura Secord Secondary School and a quicker route to the new Pool and Library, plus bringing folks closer to the Shopping Plaza. Construction is due to begin shortly … watch for it!!
Summer is over and busyness returns … the hiatus from group activities, special events, travel and vacations draws to a close and the days fill with more “Things to Do’ in and around our City and Parks …
Monday September 3rd … celebrate the final day of summer with the young ones and teens as schools re-open, new adventures await them and us
Tuesday September 4th … 3:30 PM, the Mayor‘s Graffiti Group meets at City Hall after its summer pause. The WCNA is actively represented on this group.
Wednesday September 5th … 9:15 AM … Brock University’s ‘Community Learning’ leaders meet with WCNA Directors to plan for “Conversation Cafes” in our area …. November 5th at Ina Grafton Gage Village and November 19th at the Grantham Lion’s Club.
2:00 PM ... “Scenic St. Catharines” Executive meets to consider direction for the coming year. This volunteer group of dedicated folks seeks to improve, enhance and give direction to making our City an attractive community in which to live, play and work. The WCNA works closely with this group.
7:00 PM … The WCNA Directors meet at the Grantham Lion’s Club to plot the coming months
Thursday, September 6th… 10:00 AM … This first seasonal guided ‘Walk in the Parks” happens in Walker’s Creek South … meeting at the Linwell Road entrance and enjoying the uniqueness of this Park, with commentary and explanations by a WCNA Director who is very familiar with the Parks. Each subsequent Thursday in September, “Walks” in the Parks happen, weather permitting, with the schedule available in the new “Leisure Guide” on page 77.
7:00 PM, a Guided “Spirit Walk” in Victoria Lawn Cemetery presented by the St. Catharines War of 1812 Bicentennial Steering Committee and the St. Catharines Museum & Welland Canal Centre … reservations are required … 905-984-8880 … an $8 fee is being charged.
Saturday September 8th … 11:00 AM … The unveiling of the Hostetter Commemorative Plaque, being installed by the City’s Heritage Committee at the west end of Jarrow Street, will recognize an early Settler Family and its contribution to the early development and life in what is now our City. “Bringing the past into the present!”
5:00 PM and 7:00 PM … repeats of the “Guided Spirit Walk” in Victoria lawn Cemetery.
7:00 PM … Dusk … the annual “Star Gazing Night” hosted by the WCNA in Cindy Drive Park and provided by the Niagara Chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society, providing a grand night of sky gazing with telescopes and leadership provided by these knowledgeable amateur astronomers.
And that’s just the first week of September …
>>> The WCNA is currently working closely with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) in the development of a booklet, entitled “Landowner Stewardship Guide”, dealing exclusively with the Walker’s Creek water shed. This booklet, planned for distribution in the New Year deals with information and educational advice on water quality and land issues along the Creek’s course. Expert advice and suggestions by NPCA staff, with pertinent local direction by the WCNA, this very professional booklet with enhance our use and understanding of the beauty of the nature we enjoy in the Walker’s Creek Parks and areas while promoting our neighbourhoods.
>>> The WCNA continues to cooperate and work closely with the City’s Recreation and Community Services Department in developing programs, encouraging interaction with other Community Groups and seeking solutions to concerns and issues that arise within the Parks. Last autumn 80 new trees were planted in the WCNA Parks by the City as we encourage the placement of native species in locations where they can grow to their full maturity.
>>> With the acute awareness of people with mobility and handicapped issues, the WCNA is working with members of the City’s Accessibility Committee to improve the Parks’ pathways and facilities , seeking to make the Parks accessible to all. This is a multi-year project, presently in the survey, recommendations and priority setting stage.
>>> The WCNA is about to consider the development, in association with the Ina Grafton Gage Village leadership, of a shady restful area close to the Ina Grafton Gage Village entrance to the Parks, encouraging further use of the Parks by the many nearby residents. Similarly the WCNA continues to urge the City to consider the necessary budget to provide for a functional pathway from Grantham Street to Niagara than can ease access to the new Pool and Library for residents of the Kenworth Apartments and nearby homeowners, students attending Laura Secord Secondary school and enjoyment of the wonderful Arboretum which the City’s Green Committee is reviewing with possible enhancement plans.
>>> The WCNA Directors meet regularly with our Ward Councillors, giving them an opportunity to share plans the City may have for our area and allowing the WCNA to bring members’ concerns to their attention. This cooperation has and is proving most beneficial to all. Membership in the WCNA gives you an extra voice in happenings in your neighbourhood and we welcome new members all year long. Membership information can be found elsewhere on this website.