The Wasteland

The area known locally as “the prairie”, was a brackish pond that had been used as a cesspool by the local hospital and residences bordering the pond. This practice was discontinued in 1961 when a Municipal water and sewer system was installed, but the town was still left with what they considered to be an embarrassment, due to the associated smell, flies and rodents.

A decision was made to backfill the pond to provide space for a recreation area. At the same time a new elementary school was being built adjacent to the pond and the excavated marshland materials were to be used as fill.

Once an environmental assesstment had been completed, backfilling started. The area closest to the hospital was filled in first and filling continued towards the outlet of the pond. The Prairie Pond is connected to salt water, so the area is being continually flushed by the sea, with the rise and fall of the tides.

The process of backfilling went on for several years. A channel was left on the west side of the pond to ensure that the area houses would not have flooding due to the marsh runoff, that drains into the pond.

The Dave Joy Memorial Playground was built and a ball field was constructed with plans to develop a soccer field in the future.

The remaining wetland was seen to be host to a multitude of waterfowl and other birds, but the backfilling was still taking place and by now approximately 75% of the wetland had been lost.


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