WESTVILLE — Members of Westville Fire-Rescue have undertaken a project to improve conditions at Victoria Park.
Over the last number of years conditions at the park, which is the location of the community’s Canada Day events, have deteriorated to a point that without some work the park will be unusable. Department member Tom Steele says there are serious drainage issues after any amount of rain plus the inside green area of the park has settled and allows the ground to be saturated and too wet to use for a number of days throughout the year.
Steele states that the park was built by Westville coal miners in the early 1900s and had a great drainage system installed, but during the Westville water/sewer replacement projection in the late 1960s, an underground sewer route through the park cut all the underground drainage pipes, with the result being no drainage.
The three phase project will take upwards of two years to complete with Phase One starting in late spring. The Victoria Park Field Upgrade Project has the support of the Town of Westville, Rotary Club of Westville, Pioneer Coal, SW Weeks Construction, Pictou County Truckers Association plus local business owners.
First part of the work is to increase the elevation of the park and establish a grade in both infield and out field areas of the park, this will involve the hauling in of 3,000 cubic meters of fill material that will be compacted and capped with gravel. This will allow any surface water to flow to the outside track area. Westville Town Works will install storm drains to remove this water from the track area along the Queen Street side of the park. The walking track around the ball field will remain but will be graded to allow any surface water to flow off. The walking track will be closed only on the days that construction work is being undertaken.
As the park is used at times as a practice ball field, arrangements have been worked out with the Westville Legion Branch 35 and Westville Town Works to reopen and maintain their ball field on Spring Garden Road.
“This is a win-win situation for the Legion, local ball clubs and children of the town to have an alternate field that will be far better then what the Victoria Park Field has offered for the past number of years,” states Steele. “Fire department members have already started the process of clearing brush from the Legion field fence area plus other repairs to the grounds are planned over the next two weeks.”
Phase Two starting in 2020 will see additional work to the storm water drains on the south side of the park plus work to redevelop the ball diamond infield area and backstop. Phase Three will have the outfield seeded and the field returned to the community.
The fire department will accept donations of money or in-kind material to assist in this worthwhile venture. Monetary donations can be dropped off at the Westville Town Office attention Fire Dept Victoria Park Project.