Monday, August 27, 2012
This is really a victory for those of us who conceived and maintained a planting at the southeast corner of the property for about eight years. Personally, I'm overjoyed that this parkette, owned by the muncipality, has been enhanced through the long-term efforts of local residents.
The seeds for a downtown park at Trulls Road/Hwy. 2 were planted in 2004 by members of the Courtice Horticultural Club - and as president I'm glad to have helped.
As the club embarks towards the end of the 2012 season, the revitalization of one of the most important corners of Courtice's downtown has taken shape and we look forward to preparations for 2013.
There will be many opportunities for local service clubs to help out including various upgrades and a permanent water supply.
To be sure, in the middle of very hard economic times in Clarington it's remarkable that the town found approximately $100,000 to spend on the creation of a parkette.
But ultimately this is about the town giving back to Courtice. For as long as I've lived in Courtice - over a dozen years now - our tax dollars have been flowing eastward in the form of community grants that precious few Courtice-based organizations availed themselves of. Simply put Courtisans were supposed to be granted $1 per resident - about $20,000 a year in grants - and to say we received a third of this would be generous.
With this parkette I personally feel Courtice has something to show for what it put into Clarington in the form of unused community grants. But make no mistake. This parkette was bought and paid for by the taxes local residents paid and not some great gift from the municipality.
Going forward this parkette and other downtown improvement projects should be done by local businesses in partnership with service clubs and interested citizens - not the town.
In an interesting development Covanta Energy, who will operate an incinerator in south-west Clarington, co-sponsored a family movie night. This is a sign one of Courtice's newest businesses wants to reach out to the community in a gesture of involvement with residents. I'm sure we will increasingly see the Covanta logo around town as they follow in OPG's footsteps.
Please also note that I'm also posting this blog post on my Tumblr account - and henceforth new Protons & Electrons posts will appear there. So please update your links and visit http://markstanisz.tumblr.com and check it out if you are reading this on Blogger. The Blogger account will remain as an archive of my earlier material.
Next blog I'll take a look at recent local development properties and issues in and around Courtice.