Lambton may be home to Peacekeeper Park

The late Gene Smith - the founder of Peacekeeper Park during the dedication of the Brent's Tower in honour of the late Cpl. Brent Poland of Camlachie, at Peacekeepers Park near Aylmer. The park is looking for a new home.

Peacekeeper Park may find a home in Lambton County.

The park, which was the brainchild of the late Ret. Maj. Gene Smith of Petrolia, opened at the Whittaker Conservation Area in Elgin County in 2001.

It is a memorial to honour peacekeepers who had died in the line of duty, to educate people about the missions they served, to give veterans a place to go to reflect on what they’ve experienced and to serve as a training and team building area for cadets.

But after 20 years, the Kettle Creek Conservation Area decided the park would have to move.

“We were notified the same week COVID hit they were not going to be renewing our lease,” Sarah Duplisea, the treasurer at Peacekeeper Park, told Lambton County councillors Wednesday. “We have been packing up and moving our stuff since then.”

But so far, the park doesn’t have a home.

Duplisea says there are many links between the park and Lambton. It’s founder – Smith – was from Petrolia, there is a memorial to the late Cpl. Brent Poland of Camlachie who died in Afghanistan, and there is a cabin dedicated to Pr. William Cushley of Port Lambton. And she says countless cadets from Lambton visit the park yearly.

Duplisea was told there may be land available in Lambton for the park to relocate.

County councillors wanted to investigate the possibilities. They’ve asked staff to contact Lambton’s municipalities for possible locations on either public or private land where Peacekeeper Park could be located.

Staff is to report back in 90 days.