Friday, October 27, 2006

Defending the fen - part 2





I've received lots of emails from concerned residents of the City of St. John's, from nearby communities, as well as from people who visit the City and live outside the province and country. There's an overwhelming sense of dismay because all recognize the good works that the JFF and Grand Concourse have done for this City.

I urge you to leave your thoughts on this blog, and also contact
City Council and the Grand Concourse Authority.
From the GCA website:
Tell us about your walks. Were there things you particularly liked? Disliked? Any things you'd like to see changed? Any problems or concerns about your walk? Of just let us know what you think of our Web site... we're always working to make things better!

Let's build on this offer to dialogue, and email them at:
input@grandconcourse.ca
COMMENTS: PLease leave a comment - what are your concerns about the fen, and ideas for this Johnson Geo Park - on this blog - just click on comments below.

12 comments:

Andrew Stewart said...

I'll have to put up my support for your cause! I'm not too familiar with the area in question but I see the pictures and agree that it should be preserved. This talk of man-made ponds and water fountains is utter non-sense.

squidink said...

Thanks Andrew, let's hope some sense comes to all the parties involved and that the plan is revisited, revised and also that the fen is restored.

Pat Andrews said...

I am sick to death of natural beauty in this city and surrounding areas being destroyed and replaced by "sombodies" version of perfect.If they think that God couldn't get it right why would they think they could do better! People...leave it alone!!NL is known for its"NATURAL" beauty.We are not a concrete city yet.LETS LEAVE IT THAT WAY.

Michael said...

When we visited Newfoundland this past summer, we discovered a treasure, a natural wonderland populated with warm and welcoming people. If the idea is to turn the island into just another man-made park, I wonder where all of us looking for the natural world will be able to go? I'm especially worried for children already suffering from the lack of natural habitats in which to grow and experience wonder. By all means protect the park from over-use, but don't kill it with 'over-protection' and de-naturalization!

Kanuman said...

My earlier post in this issue was made out of an emotional response more than logic. However, thinking it over again what else would anyone expect when one body makes a major permanent decision for everyone else without public consultation? More emotional responses to this issue will likely arise exactly because of the absence of public consultation, which is, at the least, the due diligence expected for a project of this magnitude adjacent to a National Park and IN a sensitive isolated wetland within city boundaries. If anything, the construction from the wetland area could be reversed. I listened to the CBC broadcast Friday. I would comment that the area was not full of garbage as suggested and that one does not need a series of roads and gravel walkways to see and appreciate the wetland. It was fine the way it was. My biggest problem with this issue is that one body has quietly made a major decision affecting all of us. That is simply unfair and in my opinion, insults our intelligence.

squidink said...

Thanks to all, to recent blogs from Pat, Michael, Kanuman - I received more emails again over the weekend. This City-sanctioned development, without any stakeholder/public consultation, has hit a chord with many, many people.

Anne said...

I went out at 6 am this morning to see how invasive the road thru the fen had become. Why is this unnatural road even there?
It is wider than any walker could need? Why must every wild spot within St John's be rolled over in some meaninglessly quest of "access for all". It doesn't make sense to destroy this last little envelope of wildness. Signal Hill has already been 'touristorized' and I avoid it when I can. The worst part is that the "destroyers" with their "roads" etc do not even realize the fragileness of the wildness they are banishing from the fen and from those of us who, yes, will "walk thru bog" as part of the enjoyment.

kathryn said...

Thanks Alison for doing this. If there is anything " on the ground" I can help you with, do let me know. If I'm out for a walk and come across another hunk of concrete near a bench I'm going to puke! This must be stopped!

Anonymous said...

Well, well, ... finally others are observing the environmental damage caused by the "untouchable" Grand Concourse Foundation. I appreciate the trails in and around the city of St. John's but it's time to see the real damage being done by this so-called "environmental friendly" group. They are responsible for placing a trail at the end of Quidi Vidi Lake against the 'no net loss of fish habitat' - they destroyed ~150 meters of valuable littoral zone habitat that was actually planted there by a local environmental group. It was vital for the young salmon the river groups have been releasing in the city. They also wiped out over 250 meters of the same type of habitat on Octagon Pond. No-one from DFO said a thing about it even when asked. As well, there are wild places this group is opening up just to get crowds of walkers through. Many of these sites really don't need excess visitors - they need protection from too much impact. It's not enough they have trails everywhere throughout the city but they're not wanting to stop developing them until they have some attachment to it. Aren't there enough out there for walkers? I believe they are boasting over 170 km of trails...There are also plans to screw up the wonderful atmosphere of Quidi Vidi Village with more obnoxious trails, benches, picnic sites, etc.... if people want to visit this historic village and walk the majestic hills they can easily access it and see it for what it is and how it evolved over time. Once the Grand Concourse puts their hand in it it'll end up with another "walker-highway". Not everything needs to be wheelchair accessible. There are visitors and hikers that appreciate invigorating, challenging locations minus the 6 foot silica-filled, levelled walkways... the foundation doesn't do things in small measures.

I'll be watching this closely as the Foundation appears to have immunity against protection of our wild spaces and need to be seen for what they are actually responsible for.

squidink said...

Yes, there are things you can do - first, thank you for reading and responding to this blog. Next steP: get your voice heard - write Andy Wells & JFF & send letter to the editors of our newspapers. Call or email Ted Blades at CBC Radio. Check in regularly on this blog to find out about other actions to stop this foolhardy plan. best, Alison

cretos said...

I can't believe anyone ever thought that this would be a good idea. I heard about the proposal to do this last week, and I didn't realise that it had already started and that now there is a trail (road) through the fenway. This is terrible news. The whole Geo Park project, the way it is currently being developed, is a bad idea. Signal Hill is one of the few natural, historic places in the city. It's a shame to see what is happening to it. Development in this area should be minimal at best, it is worth preserving, rather than becoming a golf course in Disneyland (etc.).. I know of the trails in that area, and sure they could be improved to encourage more people to use them, but the contouring and the size of the trails, the trail through the fen, and the artificial ponds, and the fountains, and the building facades (whatever they are), and the parking lot are completely unnecessary. Again, I can't believe they thought this was a good idea. I can't believe they are allowed to ruin such a significant piece of natural landscape. The fen behind the hill will be next I'm sure, thus ensuring there are no parts of St. John's one can go to escape human influence. And all in the name of what? Tourists that come to see St. John's' natural timeless beauty? More like all in the name of thoughtless ways to spend money. This should "complement" the massive jumbo jet hangar of a hotel I hear they are going to build onto the Battery Hotel. I am going to tell Andy and the Grand Concourse how I feel. Thanks for putting up this blog,
~Dan

squidink said...

thanks all you recent bloggers for taking the time to read and respond.

I was up again there this afternoon. The work continues. We're going to have to demand a work stoppage. They have no municipal or provincial permits - so I reckon what they are doing is illegal.
Alison