A former Canadian National Rail waste area has been gardened by Murray Sweetman since 1962, here in North Bay. He had spent money out of his own pocket, and tended to it himself all these years, with the help of dedicated volunteers and with donations from the community.
Sweetman's Garden is absolute loveliness that is a hot spot for wildlife and nature lovers alike.
For the last couple of years the Friend's of Sweetman's Garden has been trying to secure the land that the garden is on, so it can continued to be enjoyed by the community.
In this press release the group states, "In September, 2007, North Bay City Council authorized conversations with representatives of Sweetman’s Garden to purchase this beautiful west end neighbourhood property. Many in our community breathed a sigh of relief that this special place had been “saved.” Not so. City residents learned on November 5, 2008 that a significant portion of the garden is slated for a new North Bay Hydro Sub-Station."
But, how much of the garden will be destroyed? Well Friend's of Sweetman's Garden claims:
"Although The Nugget reported the Sub-Station would be on land adjacent to this 'beloved neighbourhood garden,' the Mayor indicated on his Cogeco TV call-in show on November 7 that it will intrude into the garden, more than 20 feet as it turns out."
And what would the outcome be?
"The project means the removal of all trees as well as the stone wall on the North/West boundary, and the destruction of several perennial gardens running parallel to that line.A lovely view that frames the whole end of the site will be gutted....The result is a profound loss of the garden’s historic significance and the beauty and sanctuary that help make this particular neighbourhood so special to so many."
What makes this all so ironic is that the City of North Bay has been working to increase greenspace and parks within the city, and it has been found that we are lacking in parks. Sweetman's Garden certainly fits the bill, so why would they ruin an already established greenspace that has been around for 46 years and maintained by the community?
I suppose their idea of parks is concrete buildings, and the hum of power lines is much more pleasant than the sound of birds.
Well, at least not all is lost. There's a meeting at City Hall on the 19th, and you can bet I'll be there with a gaggle of others to see if this can be changed.
To read the rest of the article click here and to find out more about Sweetman's Garden (and see luverly pictures!) click here.