Moses Springer construction FAQs
Construction work in Moses Springer Community Centre’s park is expected to begin on or around May 6 and last for about three months. This construction is meant to improve drainage, so that ponds do not develop on the trail and ice does not build up in the winter. The goal is to make the trail safer and more enjoyable to use in all seasons. The playground will also be moved and upgraded.
On Tuesday April 23, 2019 nearly 30 residents joined me to learn more about construction plans. Big thanks to Robin, a resident who lives near the park, who suggested holding another community conversation and also went door-to-door with me to hand out invitations.
Thanks, also, to city staff who helped me organize this conversation, who presented plans that evening, and who are responding to questions residents are asking about this project. Below are answers to those questions. I expect this will spark more questions. Keep ‘em coming!
Adding a compost and recycling bin: The city does not currently collect compost from park sites. Not enough compost would likely be produced to be picked up often enough, which would likely attract raccoons and critters. This park is being considered for a dog waste unit and a recycling pilot. Side note: remember to keep garbage out of recycling bins. For recycling to be accepted, city staff often have to remove garbage from recycling bins at sports fields.
Getting rid of the phragmites (the tall reeds): The least invasive and most efficient way to address the Phragmites is to remove excess water by improving drainage and adjusting grades so mowers can more easily cut the area. Willow trees are not the preferred method to remove phragmites. These trees, while beautiful, create a lot of shade and leave few site lines. As a result, fewer people would likely use the park for “passive recreation” – slower forms of activity like observing, walking, playing.
Accessible swing: Staff plans to ask the playground equipment supplier if they can adjust the playground layout, so that an accessible swing can be added later. I know residents have expressed their support for including an accessible swing here. To add it now would mean the city has to put out another call for proposals, which would both come with a cost and likely be breaking purchasing by-laws.
Naturalization and tidying: The city is continuing to move towards a process of managed naturalization. This means leaving nature alone as much as possible, while still taking steps to keep drains clear, stop flooding, and prevent damage to private property and public infrastructure. As much as possible, fallen trees are left to support habitat/stability in the natural ecosystem. In fact, Grand River Conservation Authority encourages this, within reason.
Tree removal: In project’s like this, tree conservation is a top priority for staff and council. Still, some trees will be removed with this construction project, including 1) ash trees which are, or are near to, dead (see the effects of the Emerald Ash Borer bug), 2) one tree that is blocking access to a sewer, and 3) a few others so the playground can be moved a bit to support improvements to drainage. To avoid disruption for birds nesting a qualified ecologist will be onsite. New canopy trees will be planted that will provide a good amount of shade, as well as a site line through the park to the playground.
You can direct questions/concerns to me at email@example.com, or the staff person managing this project at firstname.lastname@example.org.