Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay's Fisherman's Park West to see naturalization, cleanup

An underutilized park on Thunder Bay's north side will get an overhaul in the coming years, to naturalize the area, and remediate Lake Superior's shoreline.
The City of Thunder Bay, along with the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority and Thunder Bay District Stewardship Council want to make improvements to Fisherman's Park West at the mouth of the Current River. (thunderbayfishing.com)

An underutilized park on Thunder Bay's north side will get an overhaul in the coming years, to naturalize the area, and remediate Lake Superior's shoreline.

The city, along with the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority and the Thunder Bay District Stewardship Council will plant trees, landscape and create a pollinator habitat along with a wetland area. The groups are inviting people to submit their comments and suggestions for the site.

The west portion of Fisherman's Park is west of the Current River, wedged between the water and the Richardson elevator.

Eventually, the site would also include gravel pathways and viewing areas to the lake, said Werner Schwar, the parks and open spaces manager with the city.

"Because of its prominence on the west side of the Current River, great views of the elevator, great views of the Giant. It really is an opportunity to increase the recreation potential and habitat potential of that area." 

Schwar said the location of the elevator gives the public a chance to see the loading of freighters up close, which is not possible in other areas along the waterfront.

An island in the Current River separates the east and west portions of the park.

"We want people to come here and walk, as opposed to driving around. And we want people to be able to come to the water edge and appreciate the amazing beauty of the Richardson elevator. I think that really, when a boat is getting loaded, that is probably the closest public space you can be to watch that happen."

"This is a really great opportunity for people to see park space in a different light, and to see it evolve over time."

The site, he said, was originally an office area for the former Abitibi Provincial Paper mill. More recently, people have illegally dumped garbage at the site, or drive through the wetlands in the area with their quads.

Work has already started at the site, he said, which includes planning out the park itself, as well the installation of bird boxes and the creation of a pollinator garden.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.

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