Former tar ponds site offers exciting opportunities

Cape Breton Post
Feb. 25, 2012
Letter by David Gabriel

I recently participated in a Sydney Tar Ponds Agency information session, during which the agency outlined a vision for the “end use” of the remediated tar ponds site — what I would call the Muggah Creek parklands.

I am proud to be a member of a community that has put so much selfless effort into this vision.

We have benefited from much reasoned commentary and honest concern, and have been offered every chance to become knowledgeable about the remediation process.

We are now entering the next phase in the process, and I am very excited by the potential of the naturalized area. The contouring of the site will enhance its natural appeal. And infrastructure, such as walkways, skating rinks, heritage displays and a bicycle park, are all designed to draw people outdoors.

I was really pleased to hear discussion on providing portals from the parklands to the Whitney Pier and Ashby neighbourhoods, and the exciting concept of eventually connecting the new parklands to Wentworth Park and beyond, perhaps by way of an extended harbour boardwalk.

I believe we should also work on rejuvenating the entire length of Muggah Creek and the Coke Ovens Brook. These waterways, along with Wentworth Creek, embody the environmental health of our community.

The key to the future vibrancy of the parklands will be our creative community involvement in developing programs and events, and in promoting the site as part of what may become our greatest asset — a healthy, natural setting for residents and visitors to enjoy. Two examples of this community involvement are the bicycle park plan presented by Velo Cape Breton and the future use of the parklands as part of the Cape Breton Fiddlers Run route.

David Gabriel