En­gag­ing ideas

Gren­fell Cam­pus geography stu­dents pro­pose ways to en­hance Cor­ner Brook’s water­front

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - BY GARY KEAN [email protected]­ern­star.com

The area where Grif­fin Drive meets the Lewin Park­way doesn’t have to be just a bor­ing old park­ing lot. If one group of stu­dents at Gren­fell Cam­pus thinks the area could be trans­formed into a com­mu­nity gar­den.

The area where Grif­fin Drive meets the Lewin Park­way doesn’t have to be just a bor­ing old park­ing lot.

If one group of geography stu­dents at Me­mo­rial Univer­sity’s Gren­fell Cam­pus had their druthers, the area would be trans­formed into a com­mu­nity gar­den.

The idea was one of four projects pre­sented by this year’s Geography 3350: Com­mu­nity and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment and Plan­ning class. It’s the sec­ond year for the course, taught by Roza Tchouka­leyska, us­ing the City Stu­dio con­cept of col­lab­o­rat­ing with var­i­ous com­mu­nity groups to come up with com­mu­nity plan­ning ideas.

All four of the groups from the class con­cen­trated on projects that would re­vi­tal­ize the Cor­ner Brook water­front.

Den­nis Wass was in the group that pro­posed the com­mu­nity gar­den con­cept, which would fea­ture raised gar­den plots, a com­mu­nity tool­shed, dec­o­ra­tive art pieces, benches and in­ter­pre­tive and di­rec­tional sig­nage near the en­trance to the nearby sec­tion of New­found­land T’Rail­way.

“Right now, it’s not an overly invit­ing lot to draw peo­ple in,” said Wass.

In ad­di­tion to en­hanc­ing the park­ing lot area, Wass and his group pro­posed re­mov­ing some of the in­va­sive Ja­panese knotweed at a sec­tion fur­ther down Grif­fin Drive and re­plac­ing it with a food for­est. The idea would be to re­place the knotweed with fruit-bear­ing flora.

“We pro­posed putting in use­ful plants and ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple about what they can grow in New­found­land, where it is a chal­leng­ing cli­mate to grow our food and we are ex­tremely food in­se­cure,” said Wass.

The project’s plans also called for a com­mu­nity green­house, a com­mu­nity pizza oven and a new gazebo.

Wass said the plan was in­spired by the vi­sion out­lined by the City of Cor­ner Brook in its In­te­grated Mu­nic­i­pal Sus­tain­abil­ity Plan. That vi­sion, he said, in­cludes im­prov­ing lo­cal food pro­duc­tion, ed­u­ca­tion, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and cli­mate change and re­de­vel­op­ing the city’s water­front to make it more ac­ces­si­ble and at­trac­tive.

Tchouka­leyska, whose 2016 class fo­cused on projects to im­prove other pub­lic spa­ces in Cor­ner Brook, was im­pressed with the ideas fleshed out by this year’s class.

“At the be­gin­ning of the course, the stu­dents didn’t know what com­mu­nity plan­ning was,” she said. “It is in­cred­i­ble to see the transforma­tion to a point where they can ef­fec­tively speak about this as a dis­ci­pline and have the vo­cab­u­lary and ca­pac­ity to present ideas.”

She said the stu­dents have been so ea­ger about the prac­ti­cal­ity of their projects that she hopes some of them will con­tinue pur­su­ing the ideas af­ter the class is over.

“It’s won­der­ful to see them en­gaged,” she said. “They’re re­ally en­thu­si­as­tic about their projects and want to see them come to fruition.”

The pro­posed Cor­ner Brook water­front en­hance­ment projects:

Grif­fin Drive re­vi­tal­iza­tion

- Pre­sented by Olivia Leblanc, Den­nis Wass, Kady Bilodeau, Jes­sica Crow­ley-Youden

- A four-phase project that would see a com­mu­nity gar­den, com­plete with a green­house and tool­shed, along with other ameni­ties, at the in­ter­sec­tion of Grif­fin Drive and the Lewin Park­way. The plan would also in­clude build­ing a food-pro­duc­ing for­est fur­ther down Grif­fin Drive.

Water­front re­cre­ation hub

- Pre­sented by Kate­lyn Os­mond, Daniel House, Daniel Hil­lier, Zach Tay­lor

- A three-phase plan to cre­ate a re­cre­ation and leisure mul­tiuse area in Brakes Cove. In ad­di­tion to a board­walk from Brake’s Cove to the R.A. Pol­lett Build­ing, the plans also call for a basketball court that could be used as an out­door skat­ing rink in the win­ter.

The Hub

- Pre­sented by Ja­cob West­cott, Ian Walker, Emily Dlu­g­in­ski, Jerry Cal­la­han

- This project’s fo­cus is on re­vi­tal­iz­ing the old Cor­ner Brook Pulp and Pa­per hu­man re­sources build­ing on Mill Road. The pro­posal is to re­fur­bish the ex­te­rior and in­te­rior of the build­ing to make it a link be­tween Cor­ner Brook’s water­front and down­town ar­eas. It would fea­ture of­fice space for rent on the sec­ond floor, along with a com­mu­nity room and a meet­ing room ded­i­cated to stu­dents on the first floor.

Capt. Cook’s trail sys­tem

- Pre­sented by An­der­son Tra­verse, Olivia Ben­nett, Sebastien Be­na­vides-Var­gas, Ryan Walker

- The idea of this project is to con­struct a new hik­ing trail that would con­nect Broad­way to Quarry Hill Road in Curl­ing and then con­tinue on to the Capt. James Cook his­toric site atop Crow Hill. The trail would course its way past the soft­ball and soc­cer pitches lo­cated off At­lantic Av­enue.

Source: Geography 3350 class at Gren­fell Cam­pus, Me­mo­rial Univer­sity

GARY KEAN/ THE WEST­ERN STAR

Olivia Leblanc, left, and Den­nis Wass present their geography class project on re­vi­tal­iz­ing Cor­ner Brook’s water­front to class­mates and mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials ear­lier this week.

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