Olde fish­ing hole

Bed­eque Bay gets $277,000 from DFO to re­build Sum­mer­side pond

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - GREEN LIVING - BY COLIN MACLEAN Colin.MacLean@Jour­nalPioneer.com Twit­ter.com/Jour­nalPMacLean

The Bed­eque Bay En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (BBEMA) has se­cured a sig­nif­i­cant grant from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to re­vi­tal­ize a trash-strewn pond and stream on Sum­mer­side’s west end.

The fund­ing amounts to about $277,000 and is com­ing from a Depart­ment of Fish­eries and Oceans pro­gram in­tended to en­hance tra­di­tional fish­ing habi­tat.

Tracy Brown, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the BBEMA, said Tues­day that the group was happy to re­ceive the good news and will start mak­ing prepa­ra­tions to break ground.

The city of Sum­mer­side is also par­tic­i­pat­ing in the first phase of the project by mov­ing up road­work above the stream and re­plac­ing the cul­vert al­low­ing wa­ter to move from the pond to Bed­eque Bay. That work will start soon.

Sum­mer­side Mayor Bill Martin called the project “vi­sion­ary,” Tues­day.

“Any­time you can take a por­tion of your city that, right now, ba­si­cally breeds mos­qui­toes and turn it into a user-friendly, eco-friendly park … that’s pretty ex­cit­ing,” said Martin.

BBEMA’s con­trac­tors are ex­pected to start their work in Au­gust and will be tear­ing out the old, bro­ken dam on the site, drain­ing the pond and al­low­ing engi­neers to find the orig­i­nal, nat­u­ral stream bed.

Re­place­ment of the dam, the in­stal­la­tion of a new fish lad­der and other re­me­di­a­tion work on the site will not be com­pleted un­til 2018.

The pond is off Notre Dame Street, near the in­ter­sec­tion with Green­wood Drive. Many years ago it was the com­mu­nity’s source of fresh­wa­ter ice in the win­ter and a pop­u­lar fish­ing hole in the sum­mer.

How­ever, the pond has de­te­ri­o­rated over the years and is cur­rently full of trash and over­grown with prob­lem­atic plants.

Once the work is done, Brown said the area will be­come an at­trac­tive fresh­wa­ter habi­tat for a va­ri­ety of species and, longterm, will be­come a prime an­gling area as well.

The en­tire project has a price tag of about $1 mil­lion.

COLIN MACLEAN/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Tracy Brown, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Bed­eque Bay En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, at the old ice pond on Notre Dame Street in Sum­mer­side. The as­so­ci­a­tion re­cently re­ceived a sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing com­mit­ment from the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to help re­ha­bil­i­tate the prop­erty.

COLIN MACLEAN/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Shop­ping carts in a stream in Sum­mer­side’s west end.

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