Improvements eyed for Myrt Thompson Trail

A 30-feet-high viewing tower and some parking at the end of Maple Street are among a series of possible additions to the Myrt Thompson Trail area unveiled last week at a public open house in the city's Enterprise Centre.

Planning consultants Pat Harrison and Ross Sharp unveiled a series of panels of notated maps and other illustrations detailing a variety of possible improvements and problem mitigations along the southwest shore of the Campbell River from the Tamarac Street bridge downstream to the estuary, some of which involve the commercial-residential part of Campbellton and much of which covers the somewhat problematic walking trail that runs southward from the end of Maple Street, borders on vacant land owned by the Campbell River Indian Band and ends at a former log dump.

Harrison and Sharp expect to submit a final report to City Council in November that will incorporate the feedback they get, after which council will decide which items - if any - make it into next year's city budget and/or go into a process of seeking donations and contributions from senior governments and interested agencies.

The project began with the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association's realization several years ago that there is a lack of public access to the riverfront in the urban part of Campbellton but the resulting study commissioned by the City soon discovered other concerns, especially erosion of some river banks in the trail area but also some public safety concerns such as poor paths and refuse left by vagrants.

The whole area is particularly sensitive because of its fisheries values and further conflicts could arise in the trail area if or when the Campbell River Indian Band decides to develop its adjacent vacant lands, which with their river views would provide some prime opportunities for commercial and housing projects - assuming the river banks are made safe from flooding.

Vast vistas envisioned

Meanwhile the star of the show was the suggested 30-feet-high multi-stage viewing tower on the site of a former log-sorting yard that in the generally flat estuary would provide vast vistas in all four directions including of the river mouth, Discovery Passage and the mountains, but if, how and when it would be built and by whom remain to be seen, though there was some consensus among visitors that such a tower would be another boon to local tourism perhaps akin to or even associated with the new Elk Falls Suspension Bridge such as by connecting it to the existing network of walking and biking paths.

Also popular was the idea of adding a handful of parking spaces plus a covered viewing deck at the end of Maple Street where the City owns a small bit of land between a private parcel on the waterfront and the CRIB lands across the street. The trail is popular with off-leash dog-walkers from all around the city but the lack of parking is already a problem.

The planning study also includes the possible addition of a small public viewing space at the end of Spruce Street and a somewhat larger public space beneath the Tamarac Street bridge.

The open house was attended by Mayor Andy Adams and Councillors Larry Samson, Charlie Cornfield and Colleen Evans who seemed generally pleased with the presentation, with Cornfield pressing the importance of working from original legal lot maps and not the more recent computerized versions when setting the exact boundaries of any future projects.

Feedback on these or other Campbellton issues is welcomed by CNA chair Brian Shaw at 250-287-8807 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

CNA's garden video posted by BC Hydro

The Campbellton Neighbourhood Association's short video about its community garden project has failed to make the finals to win a cash award in B.C. Hydro's Community Champions contest but it did get an honourable mention and a posting on Hydro's contest website.

The video traces the history of the garden project on 15th Avenue near Petersen Road and makes various points including that growing more food locally makes the community more sustainable and helps save energy.

It can be viewed at https://champions.bchydro.com/entries/honourable_mentions.