New Brunswick

Don't mess around with Carleton Park ask local residents

In the second of two workshops this week, Fredericton residents asked the city not to change much in Carleton Park along the Saint John River.

Parking tweaks and trail changes among suggestions at Carleton Park workshop

Residents were invited to brainstorm ideas for the future of Carleton Park, situated on Fredericton's north side. (CBC)

In the second of two workshops this week, Fredericton residents asked the city not to change much in Carleton Park, situated along the Saint John River.

A landscape design firm has been tasked with developing a plan for both Carleton Park and Wilmot Parks in the city.

"I hardly let a day go by but that I come down here and stand and admire the river and see beavers go by, and see ducks. It's a piece of nature that I love about where I live," said local resident Sabine Campbell.

"We'd like to see the trail continue all the way up river. Right now it's broken up, partly by flooding, partly by some structures."

Campbell was one of around 70 people at Thursday night's meeting.

They were split into groups to brainstorm ideas for the future of the park.

"We'd really like to see it left as it is, and many of us agree that a better boat launch facility and a floating dock would be nice."

Status Quo

Some of the people at the meeting debated the positioning and surface of the trail through the park. 

Others asked that the parking area inside the park, close to the intersection with Gibson Street, be reviewed.

However, for the most part, the consensus was the park should not change greatly.

"I don't there was a lot of changes [suggested] either way. Basically leave the park the way it is with small changes," said local councillor Eric Megarity, who came to observe the workshop.

"Nothing big, nothing drastic. And that's a good thing, because it is more of a passive park."

The meeting was hosted at the newly renovated Northampton Brewery building at the southeast end of the park.

Brewery owner Sean Dunbar says he will wait until the park plan has been developed before finishing the development of his brewery.

"It's very important that it blend in and become part of this permanent area that is Carleton Park," said Dunbar.

"It's not really about us, it's about the building being part of the community, so yeah, holding back on some ideas might be a good idea."

The information gathered at both meetings this week will be used to develop plans for Carleton Park and Wilmot Park. 

The plans will then be presented to the public and to city council.

That will likely happen sometime in September.

Once approved, the plans will be implemented in stages over the next 25 years.