Taking Action

Residents bordering the pond were encouraged to develop their gardens in a wildlife kindly manner. Several varieties of fruit trees and shrubs that attract different birds and butterflies, were planted and a walking trail was constructed to divert pedestrian traffic away from critical nesting and brood rearing areas.

The trail system, approximately 1.5 KM in length, has been developed in a manner that allows walkers to complete the entire circuit of the trail without retracing their steps. It was also designed to allow visitors to complete only parts of the trail if they wish. Each area has been planned with good viewing and wildlife protection in mind. The walkway paths themselves were designed using local environmentally friendly materials.

The trail was constructed using a stone called dolimont, from the limestone mine at Lower Cove on the Port au Port Peninsula. The stone was placed and rolled in and the walkway is now almost as hard as cement, thus allowing wheelchair access. There are some narrow areas at the 4 bridges onto the site, which were designed in this manner to stop the access of ATV machines to the site, but are still wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs. The trail has been named the Peter St. Croix Memorial Trail. Mr. St. Croix was a local wildlife officer who contributed a great deal to the preservation of the wetland habitats around Stephenville Crossing.

Some of the backfill has been removed to increase the open water by 10%. The excavated material has been used to contour the previously flat riparian zone with islands to provide safe nesting and loafing areas as well as protection for the wildlife from humans and domestic animals. Biodiversity has also been increased through the construction and installation of various nesting boxes, such as bat houses.

A memorial garden has been developed near the War Memorial, which is directly adjacent to the pond area. A large part of the pond can be viewed from the Memorial Garden. Numerous berry bearing trees, shrubs, plants and flowers were planted to encourage birds and wildlife feeding. Residents purchased trees in memory of their loved ones and the committee took care of the planting. A memorial plaque naming these residents will be erected in the park. The committee sought the advice of wildlife professionals on the variety of vegetation needed for this purpose.

The bird blind located in the garden is a perfect viewing spot for wildlife in the pond. The fencing around the park, allows residents and visitors to view much of the pond with little disruption to the wildlife. The memorial garden has been dedicated to the memory of David Russell, who was instrumental in getting local people to help with the habitat construction.

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