As residents of St. Catharines, we have a vast array of natural beauty to enjoy. Unfortunately, we’ve allowed a lot of that natural beauty to fall in to disrepair. Now is the time to fix what is broken; not only will this help to create and attract business and tourism dollars to the area, it will also reopen to local residents some of the park areas we have in this city that can no longer be used as they were intended. The rehabilitation of Centennial Park in downtown St. Catharines is a perfect example; it is expected to cost over $800,000, but had the park been properly maintained for the use of residents, this money would not now need to be spent and a net savings over time could have been realised.
As a young father, I see the value of the recreational areas around the city on a daily basis. My son, wife and I enjoy the use of several parks in the neighbourhood on a regular basis; we play on the play-structure at Fairhaven Park, enjoy the splashpad at Russell Ave. and George St, and ride the Carousel at Lakeside Park. We’ve also joined thousands of fellow residents at Jaycee Park at Easter, at Montebello Park during Ribfest, and Rennie Park during rowing season. The parks matter to all of us, and they’re a focal point (as they should be) for community life in the Garden City. Improvements to the parks in our city don’t just make St. Catharines more attractive to business and tourism; most importantly, they improve the quality of life for residents who already live here.
We need a City Council that will actively protect and maintain what we already have, and develop municipal lands effectively to provide natural spaces for residents to use. If elected as City Councillor for St. Patrick’s, I will work diligently with City staff to rehabilitate and then properly maintain the park spaces that help make our home a Garden City.