|November 12, 2012|
“Busy WCNA Directors” … an apt description of the small group of dedicated individuals who meet monthly to evaluate the past and look to the future. The October 2012 Directors’ meeting was a prime example of that effort by a few who add so much to many more. An interesting assembly of folks that bring a variety of skills, interests and insights to the WCNA Parks and Neighbourhoods.
Della Trojan, Vice Chair of the WCNA, is the font of all information, guidance and imaginative progression in all things dealing with the Parks natural qualities, fauna and flora. The decision to seek only Native Species planted in the Parks is a major achievement spearheaded by Della. Butterfly gardens, riparian barriers on the Creek sides, the Buffer Zone off Coston Street, each proof positive of Della’s dedication to the natural beauty of the Parks which she happily describes as she leads the “Walks In The Parks’ co-sponsored with the WCNA by the Recreation and Community Services department … RCS for short. Managing the WCNA Spring Plant sale is her gift to the financial security of the WCNA while a sharing of advice to purchasers comes with smiles, knowledge and encouragement. Della is also the WCNA representative to the Malcomson Park leadership group, fostering increased cooperation in both planning and physical work parties undertaken in both Parks.
Nancy Williams, officially the WCNA Membership Secretary, is above all a most attentive and accurate record keeper, with pertinent information always at her finger tips. The majority of the WCNA Members and Friends are informed of upcoming events, successes, concerns and ideas to be shared via the WCNA website and Nancy also sees that any Members who not computer connected, receive regular hand -delivered updates on what the WCNA is doing. Nancy, a a valued employee of the City, is a most helpful person in guiding the WCNA through the many departments of the City, identifying to whom questions should be asked and who may be best able to help us get information, acquire assistance and keep informed.
Mike Fancy, is the WCNA “IT” guru … setting up and overseeing the website, leading in the use of GPS locations on tagged trees and with his ever present computer, able to provide us with accurate dates of past events which definitley aids future planning. He is always ready to help us less competent computer users overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers and get out the information we deem necessary. His insights to neighbours and neighbourhoods positively guides WCNA decisions.
Karen Hendle is the WCNA representative of the “Reach Eight” park area, especially important as this new Park was added to the other WCNA Parks just this year. It was Karen’s insistence that ‘something be done’ to reduce and eliminate the odour coming for the entrance to the above ground Creek bed from Grantham Street that saw this Park, now with a new pathway running through the old Arboretum, takes form.
Mike Sullivan, in his role as Past Chairperson, is a constant helper at all work party events. Mike’s experience in the past with the WCNA and his willingness to continue as part of our financial control systems, is a most valuable resource, ever readily available.
And I am Ben Hannan, present Chairperson of the WCNA who strongly believes that small groups of people can make significant advances in creating quality of life situations, in this case focused on the Parks of the Walker’s Creek Neighbourhoods.
The Directors are never alone in their efforts … many volunteers step forward at various times, the ever present guidance and assistance of Grantham Ward Councillors Bill Phillips and Dawn Dodge, the quiet awareness and help of St. George’s Ward Councillor Greg Washuta and key Staff in RCS and TES all come together and express though action and considered ideas to make the WCNA a very viable, interesting and interested Association.
‘Proof of the pudding’ was the October Community meeting when June Streadwick, a local Master Gardener and WCNA Member, advised the attendees of actions that can help preserve the summer garden and have it prosper in the spring, General and specific suggestions were presented, tales of past experiences shared, and consideration of what could still be planted kept the meeting an interesting and useful gathering. It is always a special delight to find the expertise among our Members and Friends and their willingness to share their skills, interests and insights makes for very neighbourly meetings.
Fortunately, being sideswiped by Hurricane Sandy sure changed the air with those high winds, swept detritus from the Creek which did not rise to previously seen higher levels and happily passed with little evident damage to the Parks and area. Considering what we manage to endure locally, one can but imagine the strength and force of this Hurricane as it devastated so much of the Eastern Seaboard.
Anyone strolling through the Parks will notice the many new trees that have been planted this Autumn. replacing ones that did not make it through the dry summer was appreciated and the addition of new trees along the pathways is a welcome sight. Three varieties seem to dominate the choices, over which the WCNA has no control. Linden trees, Locust trees and Lilacs are the major additions noted. While the WCNA asks that only Carolinian forest native trees and bushes be added to the parks, the supply and choices are discovered after the fact. While some Lilac tress were introduced to Canada in the 1870’s, a more common variety only dates back to the 1970’s when it was introduced by a major Nursery and Garden centre company. Waiting for spring to see what these juvenile trees will add to the Parks makes for a future sense of discovery.
The November WCNA Community meeting will be of special interst to folks for whom the world of the rapidly changing new communication technologies hold both promsie and apprehension. Brock University’s “Conversation Cafe” will be hosted by the WCNA on Monday, November 19th beginning at 7:00 PM at the Grantham Lion’s Club on Niagara street. The topic is “Technology … a blessing or a curse?” We hear business people worry about the need to be ever available even in the late evenings when businesses and companies may think nothing of calling or texting … family time is becoming more precious and being interrupted more common. And if one sees a groups of teens walking down the street, it will be noted how many are busy texting, talking on phones and paying little attention to their strolling companions… what is this doing to realtionships … and what about the old fashioned mailed letter .. a keepsake for years to come while the electronic message gets ‘deleted’ and lost. But the availability of immediate contact with family members can be a blessing as parents are kept informed of the whereabouts of younger family members. So how does all this touch your life and what do you think the future holds as these technologies become all the more common? Come join in the search for what suits each of us best.
Continuing cooperation between the City Recreation and Community Services Department (RCS) will see the WCNA 2013 schedule of events listed in the Spring/Summer edition of the Leisure Guide provided by the City. New schedules for “Walks in The Parks’ in Spring and in Autumn will be shared with Malcomson Park and spread out so we can all enjoy the emerging spring and the settling in of Autumn. No better way to get to know and enjoy the natural beauty of the parks. Contact has been made with the Naval Reserve Band and we are hopeful they can include a return visit to our Parks in the summer of 2013.
For those of you who enjoy surprises … take an evening stroll off Linwell Road and by the bridge to Ina Grafton Gage, the mystical return of the lighted Christmas Tree is there to be enjoyed again, pondered and guessed at who are the unknowns … honestly I don’t know who … who each year adds this seasonal attraction to the Parks … a joyous sight !!
And finally, the pathway through the Old Arboretum from Niagara Street to Grantham, is now complete and awaiting your visit. Thanks to Norm Moyer for the following photo of not quite the “Yellow Brick Road’, but with curves that will add to this path’s pleasure.