Trenton plans major park upgrade

Published on May 10, 2017

Trenton Mayor Shannon MacInnis and Jen Bethell of the Hemlock Group, a group of local volunteers who want to see Trenton Park revitalized, pose for a photo after a press conference. MacInnis announced the Town of Trenton will be committing $100,000 to upgrades in the park, expected to cost $2.6 million in total.

©Amanda Jess

Trenton Park is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the announcement of some major upgrades.

Mayor Shannon MacInnis told attendees at a press conference Wednesday that the Town of Trenton will be committing $100,000 to a revitalization project expected to cost $2.6 million in total.

“We have worked diligently together to put forth a plan that respects the history of the park, while updating, upgrading and enhancing the opportunities that the park has to offer. We are confident that the revitalization project will provide us with a sustainable and fiscally manageable asset moving forward,” MacInnis said.

Some of the proposed features include a new playground; a re-modernized pool; a dog park; landscaping; picnic area and a splash pad. The amenities and facilities in the park are being developed to be universally accessible “to ensure wide usage and participation by all socio-economic demographics within our community,” a release said.

Trenton town council has been in consultation with the Hemlock Group, a volunteer group of 11 local community members who want to breathe new life into the park.

Jen Bethell, one of the group’s members, said the project has been in the works for several years. Her interest was sparked after a trip to Victoria Park in Truro, when she decided she wanted to see something similar closer to home.

“…I thought I’m not going to complain about what we don’t have. I’m going to see if we can create something.”

They have been working to prepare a master plan for the park, as well as a fiscally sustainable fundraising plan to support it.

The town will be applying for funds from all levels of government, including other local municipal units. They’re also planning a community fundraising campaign.

They hope to begin the upgrades next spring.

As previously announced, the Town of Trenton, outside of this $2.6 million project, plans to reopen the campground, starting with dry camping this summer. They intend to enhance the campground later “in a format that meets the needs of today’s travellers.”

MacInnis highlighted the importance that outdoor assets have in the region.

“I, along with my other municipal counterparts in the county, recognize the need to address regional population decline. Regional assets, such as Trenton Park, are attractive for newcomers. Trenton Park is a space for people, young and old, to enjoy outdoor recreation year round.”

Bethell echoed concerns of outmigration and population decline.

“I think it’s important that we invest in the community and do what we can to build a prosperous future.”