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Ground work begins this fall for Harbour Grace park redevelopment

Harbour Grace town council is considering a partial redevelopment of Moriarity Park.
The Town of Harbour Grace has agreed to proceed with work to redevelop portions of Moriarity Park. - Compass file photo

Dog park, community garden, walking track part of initial plan

HARBOUR GRACE, N.L. —

It's full steam ahead for a project the Town of Harbour Grace hopes will bring more people to Moriarity Park.

Centrally located in the Conception Bay North community, the site presently has a fenced-in playground and two ball fields — one for baseball and one on the west-end for softball. In the spring, the town agreed to hire a consultant to prepare a conceptual design that would repurpose the softball field for other uses.

Now, the town is advertising to hire six workers — funded through the provincial government's Job Creation Partnership — to start initial redevelopment work this fall.

Harbour Grace Deputy Mayor Sonia Williams
Harbour Grace Deputy Mayor Sonia Williams

Deputy Mayor Sonia Williams, chair of the town's parks and recreation committee, said this will lay groundwork for what the town expects to be a multi-year project. It was Williams' committee that originally proposed redeveloping the park.

"It's unfortunate, but I guess it's a sign of the time," Williams told The Compass. "I personally spent hours on the softball field for years, playing in the ladies league and the mixed league."

There was a lot of development at the two fields in the lead up to the 1992 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games. They were both put to good use for a number of years thereafter, but activity at the local ball fields eventually dwindled.

"Both fields weren't utilized like they should be," the deputy mayor said.

The town intends to set up a walking trail along the perimeter of the area now occupied by the softball field. The community garden presently situated behind the historic courthouse property will be relocated to the park's south end, with all raised beds moved to this site as well.

The playground equipment east of the baseball field will also be moved to where the softball field. The fenced-in playground area will be repurposed as a dog park.

Williams said the town intends to make all facilities in the park wheelchair accessible.

Council is still mulling over aspects of the early work, including what sort of material to use for the walking track and whether or not to take down the fence surrounding the softball field. Williams said the consultant suggested removing the fence, but the town has planned to meet again with the consultant to further discuss the project.

Down the road, the town hopes to install a splash pad in the park for children to enjoy. Council approved a motion at its last regular meeting Sept. 9, to apply for support through the federal Gas Tax Fund for this aspect of the redevelopment project.

The town is also looking at establishing a multi-use court for basketball and ball hockey.

"It will be a beautiful park at the end of the day," Williams said, offering benefits for residents young and old.

The deadline to apply for the six positions associated with the initial 10 weeks of work — one foreman, two carpenters and three general labourers — is Sept. 23 at 4:30 p.m.

editor@cbncompass.ca

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