Saturday, 18 August 2007

Construction Diary XXXIV




Greetings!

Aug. 27th. - Representatives from Cape Breton trail groups came to our Park to see our work and talk about best practices.

Aug. 28th. - Our friends from the Shearwater Military Base installed a culvert and did some trail surfacing along a section of the trail that runs through their Base.

Aug. 30th. - We met with a representative from Taylor Lumber; to look at dealing with the Juan damaged trees still in Cole Harbour Heritage Park before they lose all their market value.

Sept.1st. - A big rain event (60 mm) overwhelmed some of our culverts and ditches; mostly along The Heritage Trail and really torn things up. It even jumped stream banks and ran through the woods, gouging out trails that got in it's way.

Sept. 6th. - We met the Minister of Natural Resources and some of his staff along with our MLA Darrell Dexter who arranged the meeting for us. We toured the Minister through our Park and showed him the Juan damage that was left behind and in our opinion; had never been properly cleaned up.

There were no commitments made other than, the Minister would get back to us.

Sept. 7th. - We brought in a load of gravel and a bobcat to repair some of the worse areas from the Sept. 1st. rain storm.

Sept. 18th. - Vandals tried to burn down our much used and greatly appreciated outhouse on the Salt Marsh Trail. Apparently they were not Scout Canada trained, because they started the fire in the roof and not at the bottom of the outhouse; in which case it would have burned to the ground. It is still going to cost about $400.00 to $500.00 to repair the damage.

Sept.19th. to 24th. - We hired a contractor to mow the shoulders of all our trails in the Park and along the Salt Marsh Trail. They used a ride on mower, an excavator with a flailer head and hand held spacing saws.

Sept. 21st. - We met with DND's Formation Development Engineer at Shearwater to discuss how we can get through their Base and onto the Eastern Passage Road / Pleasant Street which then puts the Woodside Ferry within sight.

Sept. 22/23rd.- Installed four new culverts and ditched 700 feet along The Heritage Trail. Volunteers also limbed overhead trees to make it easier for the dump trucks to put up their boxes and spread their loads.

Sept.24th. to 28th. - We installed several more culverts inside our Park and placed seven (7) loads of crusher dust along various trail surfaces and not a day to soon.

Sept. 29th. - The Cole Harbour Heritage Park was officially opened. The flags were flying and the sun was shining. There were two guided walks before the ceremonies; one ten kilometer walk and a five kilometer walk. Councillor Harry McInroy, Mayor Peter Kelly, MLA Mark Parent and MP Michael Savage all gave short and much appreciated speeches. A reception followed in the big red barn with hot dogs and soft drinks; all in all a grand day, celebrating what a small dedicated group of volunteers can accomplish.

Oct. 1st. - Our friends at HRM Underground Services came to our rescue by placing some very large rocks along a ditch near our Caldwell Road parking lot where 4x4 SUV's were coming off road into a very steep ditch and then accessing The Shearwater Flyer Trail.

Oct. 4th. - As a follow up to the Minister's meeting on the Juan damage to the Park; we met with his Executive Director - Renewable Resources. He was also given a tour of the damaged areas and lobbied to do more clean up.

Oct.5th. & 10th. Work begins at the West Lawrencetown Road end of the Salt Marsh Trail. We have wanted to modify the gate there for sometime and to re-install our sign structures that ATV's had broken off.

After the new posts were in the ground, we had a welder come in and cut off a section of the gate which now allows bicycle to pass through the gate without dismounting but still blocks ATV traffic from coming in. The gate was then sanded down and given a fresh coat of yellow paint. Some vegetation push back was also done and a load of crusher dust was spread in the area.

Oct. 11th. - Met with HRM Trail Staff who have asked us to re-focus our business plan this year to bring up the West Lawrencetown end of the Salt Marsh Trail (2.6 kms) to Active Transportation Standards. To which we have agreed as it will also support our efforts to re-build the Salt Marsh Trail later on.

Oct. 13th. - Another trail group attended our Park for a tour, to take advantage of best practices and to learn from our mistakes.

Oct.15th. - Our consultant who is working on the Bissett Brook Project provided an update on his work so far.

Oct 16th. - We put the ride on mower and excavator with the flailer head to work on the West Lawrencetown end of the SMT to push the vegetation back along the shoulders of the trail.

Oct.17th. to 22nd. - Another contractor started cutting trees that are growing in the ditches along the trail and then chipping them; in order to not to impede the proper ditching that must take place before we can surface the trail with crusher dust.

30 students from NSCC - Environmental Engineering Technology - Water Resources class asked to come to our Salt Marsh Trail and do a clean up; to which we readily agreed. We supplied them with garbage bags and work gloves.

The following day, CHPTA volunteers took our trailer out to the SMT and brought out to two big loads of refuse that the students had gathered up along the trail shoulders.

Sept.19th. - We received a letter from Base Commander - Canadian Forces Base Halifax that offers us a corridor across DND property; provided that we satisfy a couple of conditions. This has been a long coming and finally opens things up for the next link towards the Woodside Ferry.

Finally: The Weekly News is running a contest for your favorite park and has listed four parks to choose from. Your are invited to vote on-line at http://www.dartmouthcoleharbournews.ca/ We all know who has the best park; so please get your friends and relatives to tell The Weekly News, what we already know.

Happy Trails