Elmira Le­gion marks Re­mem­brance Day


The Woolwich Observer - - FRONT PAGE - FAISAL ALI

EF­FORTS TO RE­VI­TAL­IZE THE iconic Welles­ley pond gained new trac­tion last­week with the un­veil­ing of three new con­cept draw­ings for pub­lic in­put.

The con­cep­tual plans were show­cased at an open house Novem­ber 8 by the Friends of Welles­ley Pond, a com­mu­nity group ded­i­cated to the restora­tion of the pond’s nat­u­ral fea­tures. The three con­cept draw­ings on dis­play of­fered three dis­tinct vi­sions for how the vil­lage land­mark may change in the com­ing years.

“What we want to do is re­store some of the nat­u­ral qual­ity of the pond as a body of wa­ter,” ex­plained town­ship coun­cil­lor Peter van der Mass, who’s been in­volved with the Friends of Welles­ley Pond, an in­for­mal as­so­ci­a­tion of res­i­dents, town­ship staff and the GRCA, which is the ac­tual landowner of the pond.

The group re­ceived sup­port from the Re­gion of Water­loo’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Com­mu­nity Fund last year, al­low­ing it to seek out the ex­per­tise of a Cam­bridge­based en­gi­neer­ing firm, Wa­ter’s Edge.

The re­sult is three con­cept draw­ings that show the im­prove­ments that could be made to re­vi­tal­ize the pond’s nat­u­ral as­pects. The changes range from mi­nor tweaks, such as adding sunken trees, log piles and stone for­ma­tions to act as nat­u­ral habi­tats, to re­plac­ing the ar­ti­fi­cial pond en­tirely in favour of a sim­ple chan­nel bor­dered by wet­lands and some trails.

The first two con­cept draw­ings are sim­i­lar in that they en­vi­sion keep­ing the pond and adding new wet­lands as well as some ad­di­tional trails.

“The dif­fer­ence be­tween op­tion one and op­tion two is the per­cent­age of ac­tual pond fea­ture ... that would re­main,” ex­plained Crys­tal Al­lan of the GRCA. “In ad­di­tion to wet­lands that are cre­ated, trees and shrubs that are planted – sort of park­land en­hance­ments.”

Op­tion one, the “lim­ited en­hance­ment” con­cept, skims sec­tions on the eastern edge of the pond, south of Queen’s Bush Road and Nafziger Road to cre­ate ad­di­tional wet­lands, trails and park­lands. Op­tion two, “par­tial en­hance­ment,” re­duces the pond in size along its di­ag­o­nal west­ern edge – the por­tion abut­ting David Street – and adds fur­ther shrubs and wet­lands.

Op­tion three, the “full nat­u­ral chan­nel en­hance­ment,” pro­duces the largest changes. It imag­ines re­plac­ing the pond en­tirely with a winding chan­nel flanked with even more sec­tions of wet­lands, plant life and trails. It’s prob­a­bly the best op­tion in terms of

eco­log­i­cal im­pact, notes Al­lan, but it’s also the most rad­i­cal change of the three.

“We un­der­stand that this is a fo­cal point in the com­mu­nity that peo­ple want to come to,” she said. “So we’re ... try­ing to blend those cul­tural as­pects and the cul­tural her­itage, un­der­stand­ing the his­tory of this prop­erty, with the nat­u­ral her­itage and en­hanc­ing the nat­u­ral el­e­ments around here.”

While the pond has been a rec­og­niz­able fea­ture of the vil­lage for decades, that was not al­ways the case, noted van der Mass. In fact, the pond was orig­i­nally dug up in the mid-1800s as a mill pond.

“So it’s not a nat­u­ral pond. It was just a creek that was widened to cre­ate a pond to drive power to the mill across the street,” he ex­plained.

When there was no longer a need for a mill pond as the com­mu­nity en­tered the 20th cen­tury, the pond was con­verted for recre­ational use. It even­tu­ally be­came a fo­cal point for the com­mu­nity, but at the same time has lost some of its nat­u­ral splen­dour, he added.

The goal of all three ren­o­va­tion con­cepts are to im­prove land’s bio­di­ver­sity, im­prove the flow of wa­ter and de­crease its tem­per­a­ture by deep­en­ing and nar­row­ing the pond, im­prov­ing wa­ter qual­ity, “man­age” the geese nui­sance and in­crease the trails and nat­u­ral ar­eas sur­round­ing it.

“We won’t have a good idea of what the cost is un­til we fi­nally de­ter­mine ex­actly what it is we want to do,” said van der Mass. How­ever, he added that the com­mu­nity had to de­cide quickly on a plan, to take ad­van­tage of a Re­gion of Water­loo project slated for next year.

“The bridge on Nafziger that leads to the ap­ple mill, north of Queen’s Bush Road, that has to be re­paired in 2018. And in or­der to that, the re­gion will be draw­ing down the pond so that they can work on the bridge,” he ex­plained.

“We hope then to take ad­van­tage of that to do our dredge work. So there is a bit of a time­line here, we don’t have all that much time to get things to­gether. Be­cause we don’t want to draw the pond twice.”

Res­i­dents in­ter­ested in weigh­ing in are en­cour­aged to re­view the con­cept draw­ings on the town­ship web­site (www.welles­ley.ca, through the Welles­ley Pond En­hance­ment Project link), and sub­mit their com­ments via the email link pro­vided.


It was a som­bre Sun­day in Elmira as the town­ship gath­ered to com­mem­o­rate Re­mem­brance Day on Sun­day. The event marked 100 years since the Bat­tle of Vimy Ridge and Canada’s sesqui­cen­ten­nial with a can­non salute. Over­cast skies, how­ever, pre­vented the planned fly­over of three World War Two era planes for the spe­cial an­niver­sary.


Mak­ing its way from the Elmira Le­gion to the ceno­taph, the Re­mem­brance Day pa­rade in­cluded mem­bers of the Le­gion, Water­loo Re­gional Po­lice, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides amongst its ranks.


Stu­dents and staff at Breslau Pub­lic School crafted 700 pop­pies – one for ev­ery per­son in the school – to com­mem­o­rate Re­mem­brance Day. The pop­pies were on dis­play out­side the Elmira Le­gion for Sun­day’s pa­rade cer­e­mony. On Tues­day, a hand­ful of Grade 4 stu­dents, in­clud­ing Danika Taneb, planted the pop­pies out­side the school.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.