Recently … in The Parks …

Motorized vehicles are prohibited in the Parks and on the pathways. This is a City Bylaw, enforced by Police and being communicated by additional signs being installed to inform all of this long standing Park policy. With people walking, jogging, cycling, with young children romping about freely and with dogs on long leashes also enjoying the open spaces, any invasion of motorized vehicles … Motor bikes, ATVs, cars or trucks other than City or contractor vehicles … creates dangerous situations and the possibility of accidents. Residents are encouraged to contact the Police when such vehicles are seen intruding into the parks. A report to the WCNA … email to “” … would also be appreciated.

As has been noted previously, identity signs to the Walker’s Creek Parks, at each entrance, awaits action. Especially if Police or emergency assistance is required within the Parks, having easily identified entry locations close to the problem is important.

Councillor Bill Phillips, Parks foreman Mauro Becchetti, Public Works manager Bob Riediger and Foreman Mark Cecchin, along with Mike Fancy and myself from the WCNA Executive group, ‘Strolled’ through the Parks on Friday past, noting the good things that have happened, identifying the problems and planning action for correction and remediation. Key items remain … increased stone dust and repairs to ruts on the pathways, solving the slippery large stone application to the slope in Cindy Drive Park, adding mulch around trees to protect them from weed whackers and large grass cutting machines. Even as we walked from the beginning of the Melody Trail through to Linwell Road, work crews were active behind us. These immediate responses were most appreciated.

The remaining black plastic erosion barriers around the spring construction sites, placed there to hold seed and soil and stop erosion flowing into the Creek, seemed to have served their purpose. Active consideration is being given to their removal. Though some seeding has been done, the weather and dry periods did not encourage the desired germination. Suggested late autumn renewal of those areas has been noted.

One area where a confused pile of tree trunks is assembled, will be attacked. Cutting the large trunks into manageable pieces, spreading the smaller branches to allow for naturalization of this equipment scarred location, will clean up an existing eye sore. Naturalization of wooded areas is the appropriate decision to maintain the forest like appearances, build up the soil and provide vistas other than manicured grasslands.  These sites also encourage the sprouting and growth of native trees and new growth is certainly a desired result.

During dry periods, it has been noted by numerous residents, that ‘pooling’ takes place and the slow, minimal flow of water through the Creek does not adequately move stagnant water along its course. As possible mosquito breeding areas, residents are rightly concerned about this pooling, especially in regards to the West Nile virus threat. Due to the work on the Creek, the naturally occurring erosion may have increased the number of these pools and so an investigation of that concern is planned with the Niagara Conservation Authority. The Creek area between Linwell Road and Scott Street  and between Niagara Street and Grantham, have also been identified as areas of increased pooling and will be included in the study .

Sadly, as we walked the pathways, we also noted some encroachment into the parks by some residents. As such, these folks take away from the public use of those areas, place themsleves in some danger should the use of their privately installed equipment  be used by the public and face the probable order to remove any additions that are on park territory.

We are delighted to see the two newly donated Memorial Benches installed in Cherie Road park, at a intersection of trails … a fine meeting spot, a calm place  to enjoy the shady natural setting, and well situated with quiet views awaiting the rest seeker. With plaques attached to each bench, memorializing the family or individual’s life, these benches can be an ongoing celebration, mindful of the pleasure to be given to others. The Recreation and Community Service Department can be contacted to arrange for such additions to the Parks, or to have a Memorial Tree installed as an alternative.  The WCNA’s efforts to identify Memorial Trees whose tags have been lost, is ongoing.

The exuberance of the two Butterfly gardens add pleasure and will hopefully see a return of the large numbers of Monarch and other butterflies. The reportedly reduced sightings  of butterflies this year does take away from the joy of discovery by the younger folk. The obvious growth of certain things we call ‘weeds’, in the natualized areas, may also prove to be attractive  food sources for these beautiful, if flighty, winged delights. The blooming Butterfly Bush by the bridge in Cherie Road park is but one example of how we can attract and hold these summer visitors. Recent newspaper articles have also identified the reduction in the natural bee population, and while not as attractive as butterflies, their busyness in our tender fruit area is critical.

Work is expected to begin shortly on the additional new playground in Cindy Drive park. Close to the site of the Darby Family Commemorative plaque and beside the area where the “Star Gazing Evening” will occur on September 17th, this area can become very favourite spot for children and adults alike. Even enough open space for kite flying by children!!

Most pleasing was the well mowed grassy areas of the parks. The early summer hay field appearance has disappeared and the thought of rolling down a manicured slope came to mind … but age and concern for looking foolish intervened … maybe when I know no one is watching … or maybe my young granddaughter can give me that vicarious pleasure by watching her tumble, with joyful giggles !!