Wetland work begins at Bridgeview Park Petrolia


Bridgeview Park in Petrolia is undergoing some big changes.
The St. Clair Region Conservation Authority has approved a plan to deal with stagnant water in the park on the south side of Petrolia Line. Work began Wednesday.
Bridgeview Park floods each season with the water slowly receding into Bear Creek. When the town rebuilt Petrolia Line, the Ministry of the Environment said a storm water holding pond needed to be installed. A spillway with a retaining pond was built, at a cost of about $250,000 to act as a natural filter and drain.
But, it isn’t working. Right now, the pond is filled with green algae. And Dave Menzies, director of community services and facilities says it spills over into the east end of the park, near the public washrooms, keeping the area underwater for weeks.
So, 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… 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 recently approved the work and committed to starting this fall.
Petrolia will contribute $25,000 toward the work.