CNA to host first Campbellton Day on Aug. 1
The past, present and future of the Campbellton neighbourhood will be showcased in a new event being organized by the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association.
"The CNA is pleased to announce that we will be hosting the first annual Campbellton Day on Monday, August 1," said association chair Brian Shaw, noting that date also is part of a long weekend with the statutory B.C. Day holiday that falls on the first Monday in August.
"Campbellton has a colourful history that deserves to be celebrated but it also has a bright future that we're working to make great too," said Shaw, one of the founders of the four-years-old CNA, which is a not-for-profit society run by a volunteer board of directors.
Events that day will include an open public meeting at 10 a.m. at the Fusilli Grill, 1760 Island Highway, using the scenic riverside lawn if weather permits. It will feature speeches by local dignitaries and residents familiar with the neighbourhood's long history as one of the first spots of European settlement in the Campbell River area, but also about its future such as the need to improve public access to the Myrt Thompson Trail off of Maple Street.
The public meeting will be followed by visits to sites that are the focus of key CNA initiatives, which include restoring public access to the river at the end of Spruce Street and between Tamarac and Willow Streets, and the CNA's proposal to mount a Beaver float plane as a tourist attraction and entrance feature on 14th Avenue between the same two streets which also serve as the north and southbound lanes of the Island Highway.
That afternoon the CNA also will be hosting a free music show featuring local artists in the playground area at the Campbellton Community Garden on 15th Avenue near Petersen Road, which will be accompanied by a barbecue and beverage service inside the garden area.
"The Campbellton Neighbourhood Association and the community generally have received a lot of support in recent years from the City, from local businesses and from many individual volunteers so we're excited to have this new opportunity to say thank you for that and to show off the progress we've made and the more we still want to make," said Shaw, who also is branch manager of the Mackie Research Capital Corporation office in the area.
Crocuses in Campbellton
Crocuses in Campbellton
by Ann Hazlett
What an awesome place Campbell River is! It’s the middle of February and crocuses are blooming. The best part is, they aren’t poking through any snow. We are fortunate enough that our winter has been mild this year. We’ve had little snow and not many days, or nights, that have been below zero. We’ve experienced enough rain to raise the water levels but there has also been a nice mix of sunny and overcast days for a nice, dry break. Green grass is a common sight in this area during winter and greatly appreciated by the residents.
The kale I left in my garden bed last fall is looking healthy and ready to start harvesting. It looks like I won’t need to plant any this year. But I need to find out from one of our gardening pros if that’s the best thing to do or not.
The chives and thyme that are coming up will be transplanted into the new bed that is going to be made into a community herb garden for all of the gardeners to share. One of the other new beds will be donated for the CR Food Bank to grow fresh vegetables for their patrons. Volunteers will look after this bed for the food bank and I am confident it will be appreciated by the recipients.
Bringing the Campbell River to Campbellton
Every year the Campbell River brings thousands of visitors for many reasons;
Most come to meander along its trails, while fishermen by the hundreds are seen daily every summer & fall.
I like to just sit and reflect along the water’s edge.
There's something about watching the flow and occasionally seeing a salmon jump.
In the fall I'll see schools of dorsal fins weaving together in a holding pattern throughout the various spawning pools.
It's special and it all can be found in the Campbell River.
Wouldn't it be nice to view that from various points in Campbellton on the southern bank.
Right now there's not a single spot you can, even though the river runs through the village for about a kilometer.
Views are completely obstructed by bushes, blackberry, and encroachment..
Overall competing interests have frozen creation of wonderful opportunities for our community to enjoy the Campbell River in Campbellton.
The Campbellton Neighbourhood Association first got the idea to create small viewpoints along the river a couple of years ago from a study completed by an urban geography class from Vancouver Island University.
We took that idea to council who approved a feasibility study for what locations might be the best.
It was recently completed and can be viewed on our website.
The report identified 5 different locations where viewpoints can be created; some easier than others.
The CNA is optimistic that the vision is still intact but the review pointed out that there are many complications with the many competing needs and further study is required in some locations.
Along the Myrt Thompson Trail, park benches that were installed with the best of intentions a dozen years ago have no view of the river at all.
Bank erosion is a serious issue.
The Greenways Land Trust is doing a lot of work annually to shore it up but regular maintenance, traffic flow and trail misuse are problems.
We need to make these small pleasant spots to rest and take a moment to enjoy what nature has to offer.
Wouldn't it be nice for everyone in the community to be able to do that?
Campbellton Neighbourhood Association
The Campbellton Neighbourhood Association is a non-profit society, incorporated in 2014, began in 2011, consisting of business owners and citizens who are very interested in improving the Campbellton area for both businesses and residents. Some of us both live and work in the area; all of us are interested in making Campbellton an area that is a supportive, productive and beautiful place to work and live. But the CNA is not able to obtain their objectives without a lot of dedicated volunteers.
What’s Happening on the Myrt Thompson Trail?
For those of you who have not been down to enjoy the Myrt Thompson trail for a while, let’s update you on what’s going on. Greenways Land Trust is one of a number of groups who have been working on vegetation and ecological rehabilitation at Myrt Thompson for several years.
Tourism looks promising for Campbellton in 2016
What will Campbellton look like at this time next year?
Perhaps a better question would be "what could it be like if we worked harder at improving it?"
The point is that Campbellton can become whatever the neighbourhood's residents and businesses choose to make of it - within City zoning rules of course. Or with Council permission to vary those rules . . . .
Remember the Food Bank at Christmas
I passed by the Campbell River Food Bank on a recent Wednesday and my attention was drawn by the long lineup of the people in need of assistance.
The Food Bank is not a conventional business in Campbellton but it carries a very important role in the services it provides to the Campbell River area.
So I contacted manager Debbie Willis to discuss how they were doing and she recounted that donations are still down this year as compared to last year.
The Food Bank provides for 2,200 monthly visitors, about the same as last year, and 45 volunteers from the community help to keep the operation going.
Campbellton garden plots still available for renting
By John Twigg, Secretary
Campbellton Neighbourhood Association
Though it’s now officially summer there’s still at least three good months of growing conditions here in Campbell River and for some crops like pumpkins and onions there could be four or five months of good gardening. That’s important to know because the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association still has garden plots available for rent in its recently-opened Campbellton Community Garden on 15th Avenue between Petersen and Redwood Streets.
The 16 available plots are large, at 4 feet by 20 feet, and are filled to the brim with rich organic loam, an excellent growing medium for a wide variety of vegetables and for other plants such as fruits and even flowers.
What’s next for Campbellton transit?
By John Twigg, Secretary
Campbellton Neighbourhood Association
Now that the Elk Falls Suspension Bridge has successfully opened as a powerful new tourist attraction, the logical question is “what’s next?” The answer could well become a new shuttle bus service based in Campbellton!
The idea of a shuttle bus to and from the suspension bridge was mentioned in a May 8 opening-day statement by Rotary Club president Lorrie Bewza, who was chair of the project committee for the approximately six years it took to conceive, fund and finally build the bridge and related facilities for about $750,000 (a bargain, aided by several key donors).
Campbellton gets renewed support in new city budget
Campbell River council's support for Campbellton rejuvenation has been demonstrated anew in the latest city budget for 2016 and 2017.
As Mayor Andy Adams pointed out in a media briefing Thursday morning after the final vote on Wednesday, the new budget includes $7,500 to the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association for planning projects in each of 2016 and 2017, which means the CNA again will be able to involve students from Vancouver Island University's Urban Geography program headed by Dr. Pam Shaw in Nanaimo in the CNA's evolving efforts. In recent years students from that program have provided very useful boosts to Campbellton's urban renewal plans, particularly by producing professional-quality reports that identify specific needs such as sidewalks, better lighting and pedestrian-controlled crosswalks which the city has since been meeting.The VIU students also played a role in helping CNA directors convince the city to provide land and other services for the new Campbellton Community Garden on 15th Avenue near Petersen Road, and they have worked on other things like concepts for future bike paths and walking trails.
The new city budget also includes $10,000 for beautification projects in each of the city's three residential-commercial areas, Downtown, Willow Point and Campbellton (the latter being a relatively recent addition) which in Campbellton this year went mainly for artistic banners on lampstands along Tamarack and Willow Streets but which in 2016 remains to be determined and could include refreshing the planter boxes along the main thoroughfare and/or other priorities such as removing graffiti. And as Adams also noted that funding is on top of the one-time $1,500 grant-in-aid to the CNA for communications and public relations, which is being invested in a CNA website and a laptop computer to update it and carry other CNA administrative information such as minutes, images and other items such as a coming database of members, supporters and other contacts. The website likely will also include a link to the CNA's new documentary film on the making of the organic garden.
Film on Campbellton Community Garden drew full house
Every seat was full when the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association's new documentary film on its community garden was shown for the first time last week in Campbellton.
Though several other major events were on in town last Tuesday (Dec. 1), still about 40 people attended at the Beijing House Restaurant to watch two screenings of a 27-minute video record of how the 22-bed organic garden was conceived, built very quickly with donated material and labour, planted relatively late in the growing season (early June) and still was harvested throughout the summer and on into a celebration party in October - thanks to the unusually warm and dry summer weather. Indeed the film ends with a demonstration by local plant nutritionist Christa Fernau of Hygro Gardening Supplies of how such garden plots of root vegetables can be harvested year-round if they are covered by a mulch such as straw, with crops such as beets even producing some edible greens. (Another winter-hardy green is kale, also becoming more popular for its health benefits.)