A Bridge to the Future
Although my lovely park is a wonderful place for smaller gatherings and walks with family and friends, we cannot truly become the tourist destination my friends envision until a pedestrian bridge over the Bighead River can be built. Why?
With the bridge in place and parking on the opposite side which is also municipally-owned parkland (presently known as Legion Park), Beautiful Joe Park’s current parking lot could offer proper event space for special shows, pet events – maybe even a live music venue or future amphitheater.
The driveway access to my park is quite steep and because of this, tour buses cannot be accommodated. The area to turnaround is not large enough for them either. Motorhomes and vehicles pulling boats / trailers cannot maneuver it. Considering we are an area that outdoor enthusiasts love … this is a problem.
Those using mobility devices cannot navigate the slope. Also, runoff after storms can make the footing uneven and sometimes treacherous on the driveway.
For safety, the park entrance is closed off from approximately November to late April. Instead of winter park closure, the pedestrian bridge could make the park a four-season destination.
Once the pedestrian bridge is in place, the current driveway could be used exclusively for maintenance access – for grass-cutting, garbage removal, etc. With the new pedestrian bridge in place, perhaps a set of steps with a railing, could be installed down a portion of the old sloped driveway. This would improve safety of local foot traffic to the park as there would be very limited vehicular traffic using the drive.
Bridging to a Solution
Future expansion to the Legion Park area could include:
Vehicle parking with special consideration for Bus / RV and large vehicle parking
Accessible flush washrooms and outdoor tap
Mature trees would be left in place to provide shade in as many areas as possible. Trees and shrubs would help the river from eroding shoreline as well
A few picnic tables (accessible) and benches would be provided
A small children’s playground facility might be added
New condos are being built across from Legion Park and a foot bridge would offer quick easy access for residents and visitors to my historic park.
The foot bridge will make it a shorter route (and more level) from downtown Meaford to the park for those walking using mobility scooters / rollators – even those pushing strollers.
Help Us Achieve our New Vision
So how can you help us achieve our new vision that includes a footbridge?
Please click here to make a donation to our capital campaign. Tax receipts will be issued for any online donation over $3.