Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday's picnic in the park: on the news

I'll have a fuller report later, but CKCO had a reporter and camera at the Victoria Glen Park Picnic yesterday.

The video is available on their website: "Elmira residents concerned over future of their parkland"

Now, isn't that an incredibly beautiful woods?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Picnic in the Park: You're invited!

You're invited to join us
for a Picnic in
Victoria Glen Park
on Sunday,
September 20th,
from 2-4 pm.

Learn about Victoria Glen:
  • Hear stories about Victoria Glen's past
  • Explore the forest and see the wildlife
  • For the nature walk, you may want to bring binoculars or a camera and a water bottle
Bring your own litterless lunch:
  • What we bring we take out again
  • It makes sense to bring our picnic snacks in reusable containers
  • You might bring either a folding chair or a blanket
Help clean up the forest:
  • Enjoy nature while collecting litter
  • Participants in the forest clean up should consider wearing sturdy shoes and work gloves.
Everyone is welcome!
Hosted by the friends of Victoria Glen Park

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Woolwich Healthy Communities: Work Group & Guiding Principles

I was googling around the internet this evening, looking for information on how citizens can initiate re-zoning of public lands (so far, no luck). I did, however, run across these interesting bits on the Woolwich Healthy Communities website:

1) On the Woolwich Trails working group site, the "Volunteer Work Parties" schedule included "Work Party at Victoria Glen Park, Elmira; Saturday, October 16." Not sure what this means in the great scheme of things, but there is contact information listed at

2) Looking around the Healthy Communities site even more, I found a list of "Guiding Principles" that have been developed for the healthy community initiative. There was a link on that page to a chart that included those principles to be used by community groups making "large decisions" (gee, is the township council a community group?). It was tempting to limit my attention to the "Improvement of the Environment" principle -- but looking closer, preserving the Victoria Glen Park woods would mean positive marks in ALL 9 principles.

Maybe this chart is something we can use -- take a look at

Everywhere I look -- in our township and region official plans, at initiatives by great numbers of community leaders, at our local history -- developing even part of this woods makes absolutely no sense at all!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Neighbourhood Strategy Meeting: You're invited!

The neighbours and friends of Victoria Glen Park will be getting together again this Wednesday, September 9th, at 7:30, at Trinity United Church.

We have two very basic agenda items:
1) We need to plan a strategy for what to do if the Township decides to go ahead with their plan to surplus the forest to pay for the township hall renovations and the new arena.

2) We need to figure out how we can, as a public group, put in a formal request that the park be rezoned.

Anyone who is interested in helping to keep the effort to preserve Victoria Glen Park as parkland is welcome! Please pass to word to others.

We don't have a firm date yet for when the township staff report will be presented to council -- sometime in late September or early October is the closest suggestion. Anyone at the public meeting last spring who signed in is supposed to get a copy of the report ahead of time. In any event, we're keeping in contact with the township as much as we can and will let people know as soon as we know when the report will be submitted and when the next council meeting that will deal with this is scheduled.

It's been a lovely summer in the woods -- more birds than I ever remember! (and all of them waking up before 5 a.m., of course, in full song.)

Another Letter to the Independent Editor - from a 5th grader

In this weekend's Elmira Independent (September 4), there was a letter to the editor on page 7 titled "Save the Park." Since the Independent doesn't include letters to the editor on its webpage, I'm including the text here:

"I am writing you as a Grade 5 student from Riverside Public School, on behalf of preserving Victoria Glen Park. Victoria Glen Park is worth saving. If you think about it there is not any other place like it. It's a perfect mixture between country and a town. That is what we want, isn't it?
"Victoria Glen Park is a great learning facility for all ages. Animals have learned to have that as their home. If you take it down now where are they going to go? The dumpster? If you cut down the trees think of all the loss of old growth. Plus what is going to happen to the stunning creek that runs through the park? It's going to get polluted.
"Not only will you be affecting wild life in this forest but it will travel. Think of all the hearts you will be breaking. And think of all the animals' lives you will be saving. Is it worth it?
"We have lots of other subdivisions that can be used. Why are you taking away the most beautiful and lively spot for more houses? We need that more than ever. If they want a house in Elmira they can accept what we have.
Jessica Bouwman.