6 a.m., March 31)
Navan resident upset over proposed manmade ponds
By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star
to build three manmade ponds in Navan has raised the ire
of at least one resident who is trying to find out whos
behind the plan and why they are being built.
Friske first found out about the project when workers
armed with chain-saws started cutting down several trees
in the forest behind his Birchtree Crescent home.
picture shows the easement on the left which
will act as a pathway to the proposed manmade
ponds and Peter Friske's Birchtree Crescent
home on the right. Fred Sherwin/Photo
the heavy equipment arrived in the form of a bulldozer
and a back hoe. Friske immediately called the office of
Cumberland Ward Coun. Stephen Blais who managed to get
the operation suspended temporarily.
project, officially called the Navan Wetland Restoration,
is the brainchild of Ducks Unlimited and the South Nation
Conservation Authority. It calls for the construction
of three shallow ponds along the north side of the Prescott-Russell
Recreation Trail at a cost of $180,000.
to Blais, the city has also set aside $200,000 to build
a boardwalk and nature trail around the ponds as part
of his Canada 150 Trail Project.
public meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 11at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Navan Arena. Friske
is hoping to get some answers at the meeting.
to Friske, the proponents of the project want to restore
the area as a wetland, but Friske, whos lived in
the house for over 30 years, says its never been
not a wetland restoration, its a wetland creation,
argues Friske, who is a retired biologist. The ground
is made up of Leda clay and its surrounded by hardwood
South Nation Conservation Authority is adamant that the
area was a wetland and it has the historical data and
maps to prove it. The land is also designated a recreation/park
zone in the Navan Village Plan.
the argument of whether or not a set of ponds is needed,
Friske is also considered about the impact the project
will have on surrounding properties.
to the site is being proposed along an easement between
his property and his neighbours house, which up
until now has served as a space where Friske has parked
his ATV. The city wants to turn it into a pathway with
a large sign at the entrance signifying access to the
want to bring in students on buses and have other people
from outside the community use the pond. Birchtree is
a quiet residential street. Its not made to accommodate
all that traffic and be used as a parking lot.
is also concerned the ponds will produce hordes of mosquitos.
citys response is that the ponds will attract frogs
which will eat the mosquitos
worked in the bush for years and I know that where theres
standing water, theres mosquitos, says Friske,
who also questions the environmental aspect of the project.
this is being done to promote and protect the environment,
then why would you cut down 30 odd trees, bring in a back
hoe and a bulldozer to disturb the area, and dig up the
existing natural state of the land. Its crazy.
that said, Friskes biggest concern has been the
complete lack of any public consultations.
found out about it after the back hoe showed up. Even
now, no one seems to know whos idea it is, or whos
taking the lead on it. If I hadnt said anything,
the ponds would be dug already."
public meeting was held by the South Nation Conservation
Authority in the fall and no objections were raised at
the time, says Blais. The records also show that the project
was brought to the Navan Community Association at a meeting
is a case of residents not being aware of the original
meeting for whatever reason, which is why we're having
the meeting next Monday to try and address any concerns
the residents might have," says Blais.
South Nation Conservation Authority are the stewards of
the South Nation watershed which includes the land in
and around the village of Navan, a large part of Avalon,
and the Mer Bleue Bog.
agency was created under the Conservation Authority Act
of Ontario in 1947, and it has complete authority in managing
natural resources within its boundaries.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
www.orleansonline.ca's main page