Wetlands to be encouraged in Petrolia’s Bridgeview Park


A large part of a Petrolia park may soon be a wetland.
Bridgeview Park floods each season with the water slowly receding into Bear Creek. When the town rebuilt Petrolia Line several years ago, the Ministry of the Environment said a storm water holding pond needed to be installed in the park for the run off from the street. A spillway with a retaining pond was built, at a cost of about $250,000. It was designed to act as a natural filter and drain.
But, Dave Menzies, director of community services and facilities, says it simply isn’t working. Right now, the pond is filled with green algae. And Menzies says it spills over into the east end of the park, near the public washrooms, keeping the area underwater for weeks.
So, Menzies says the town, is working with the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority which owns the park, on a solution.
Between 40 and 50 dead trees on the west end of the park will be removed over the coming months. Then, the area behind the public washrooms will be excavated, to allow the water to move through the area better. That will take up nearly an acre of the park.
Then, 2.15 acres around the newly-created wetland will be retired and planted with native species which will encourage the water to move back into Bear Creek without town staff having to worry about trying to maintain the grassed area.
Menzies says the town and SCRCA staff believe this is the best way to get the water moving again with the least impact on the environment.
“With the pending removal of at least 40 dead trees, the creation of a wetland pond will accomplish needed natural space for aquatic, land and air life while attempting to provide a visual appealing space,” he says in a report to council. “The draft proposal will see the creation of pollinators sanctuaries for a number of species.”
He adds when the westerly portion of the property is back in a natural space, it will cut down on the amount of cutting town staff has to do.
Menzies adds the gazebo, pond and washroom area will not be affected by the plans.
The conservation authority’s board of directors was set to take a look at the plan this month. If approved, the authority will have to look for grants to pay for the work.
Petrolia Town Council has committed up to $25,000 for the work.
It’s not clear when the project might start.