My Hometown

In the heart of our wel­com­ing vil­lage lies a true gem

More of Our Canada - - Content - By Karen Cook, Kingston, N. S.

The vil­lage of Kingston is nes­tled in the heart of Nova Sco­tia’s An­napo­lis Val­ley. Near to 14 Wing Greenwood, one of Canada’s largest mil­i­tary bases, the tiny vil­lage is also an easy drive to the Bay of Fundy, home of the world’s high­est tide, as well as winer­ies and or­chards. A day of shop­ping in Hal­i­fax is a 90-minute drive away.

But it is a park lo­cated within the vil­lage it­self that has my heart. Stronach Park and Fam­ily Fit­ness Trail is lo­cated on Bridge Street in Kingston and is named for a lo­cal fam­ily.

The area fea­tures a duck pond, pic­nic ta­bles and a 1.5-kilo­me­tre fit­ness trail, where all ages can try their hand at var­i­ous fit­ness chal­lenges along the way (Can you walk the bal­ance beam? How many chin-ups can you do?) or where en­er­getic chil­dren can just run along the well-main­tained paths and trails through the trees, lis­ten­ing to the birds chirp­ing and the squir­rels chat­ter­ing. And best of all, it is free to use! The park is main­tained by the vil­lage of Kingston it­ charge to those who love this park as I do and who use it daily.

The park is cherished by lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike, all year round. There is never a time when there isn’t at least one car in the park­ing lot and often, the lot is filled with cars as peo­ple un­pack their cool­ers for a pic­nic or strollers to walk the trails with their lit­tle ones. Lo­cals

spend their lunch hour or cof­fee break there, en­joy­ing a mo­ment of soli­tude be­fore head­ing back to work.

In spring, the end of a long win­ter is celebrated by the ar­rival of mi­grat­ing birds such as Canada geese, and dou­ble-crested cor­morants stop­ping for a rest at the pond, and by the fra­grant blooms of the mag­no­lia trees in full blossom.

In sum­mer, vis­i­tors spend their time feed­ing the wild ducks, hav­ing a fam­ily pic­nic at one of the ta­bles pro­vided, en­joy­ing the sounds of the foun­tains as they spray a rain­bow hue of mist across the pond, or tak­ing in the scenery. Ar­bours and benches are some­times used as a set­ting for an out­door wed­ding.

The pond in au­tumn is breath­tak­ing: I call it my “Golden Pond.” The rich colours of au­tumn in Nova Sco­tia are re­flected in the still­ness of the wa­ter. The photo I in­cluded of the pond (top) is one of my per­sonal favourites, and I am so proud to tell you the vil­lage of Kingston has pur­chased two prints of it for gifts!

In win­ter, the vil­lage turns the frozen pond into a skat­ing rink for fam­i­lies, where lit­tle ones can learn how to ma­noeu­vre on those thin sil­ver blades or bud­ding hockey play­ers can hone their skills on an out­door rink, breath­ing in the crisp, cold air of a win­ter’s day.

We are so lucky to have such a gem in our vil­lage. It’s a place to en­joy na­ture and your fam­ily, and share in the beauty that is Nova Sco­tia…it truly is a park for all sea­sons. ■

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