PRITCHARD — The unofficial park at the north end of the Pritchard Bridge is looking much better this year, thanks to efforts of community volunteers and some help from TNRD Electoral Areas P and L.
Since spring, Pritchard residents have been keeping the area clean and tidy and hauling away garbage. Under a plan we first started working on last fall, Area L Director Ken Gillis and I are sharing funding for some additional amenities.
Thursday, a cement pad was poured and a new bear-proof garbage can installed at the park. As well, the area at the entrance was graded and topped with gravel.
Next week, we expect a porta potty to be added as well as a sign and then a doggy-bag station. Humble beginnings, perhaps, but this pilot project will, hopefully, be a start towards an eventual adoption of this park, and perhaps some long-term funding help from groups such as service clubs.
Some people are asking for more, but mostly the response from residents has been overwhelmingly positive and co-operative. It’s easy to point fingers and ask why something wasn’t done sooner, or why more can’t be done now, but I prefer the positive approach of co-operation.
The land on which the beach and fishing area is located does not belong to the TNRD, and the TNRD has no enforcement authority on it. The facility exists out of mutual cooperation of residents and those who use it.
After I was alerted to the issue last fall, I asked staff to start working on a plan to make it better, and after a lot of consultation with various provincial ministries, permission was obtained for the TNRD — via Areas P and L — to go on the land and make these improvements.
After a decade or two of nothing being done, finally something has been started, and it’s because of the willingness of both residents and TNRD to step in where no one else would tread.
Salmon fishing season is about to start, and we’ll hopefully gain enough experience from this year’s pilot project to lead on to long-term improvements.