Elm Street Naturalization Park

 Cut the ribbon, let's roll

More than 50 people and about 30 of their best friends were witness to the official opening and ribbon-cutting Wednesday morning at the new Elm Street Naturalization Site in Port Colborne. From left are Ken Brothers, Niagara Region Commissioner of Public Works; Regional Councillor Bob Saracino; Mayor Vance Badawey also representing Regional Chairman Peter Partington as Deputy Regional Chairman and former Chairman of the Public Works Committee; and David Smith of Niagara Region Public Works.

Mayor Vance Badawey shared Bear's enthusiasm, above,  for the new leash-free dog park at the new Elm Street Naturalization Site, one component of the new 24-hectare park developed by the Niagara Region at the former home of the Elm Street Landfill and Organics Composting site. When he wasn't with the mayor, or minding his friends Justice visiting from Elliot Lake, and Dakota of Port Colborne, Bear ran leash-free in the large-dog fenced area and met all kiinds of dogs from Port Colborne, Thorold, Dain City, Welland and Wainfleet. Dog oweners said they'd been waiting for the park to open for months, and expressed their pride and joy in the new community asset. 











Deputy Regional Chairman and Mayor Vance Badwey spoke with reporters from newspapers as well as from CH News and Cogeco to express his pride in the development of the Elm Street site as a former 50-year-old "waste-land" to a new and improved welcoming green space built by the people for the people. Bea Greenizan, with the mayor, below, was one of the citizens from Port Colborne and Welland who worked for the past several years with the Region and the city to develop and design the park. The mayor presented certificates of appreciation to co-chairmen Dan O'Hara of Port Colborne and Ed Kaczmarczyk of Welland, Pat Shore of Port Colborne, Bea Greenizan of Welland, Diana Wiggins of Port Colborne, Al Labatt of Welland, Port Colborne City Councillor Gary Bruno, and Welland City Councillor Jiim Larouche. Special mention was made to recognize the commitment of Peter Kryger of the Region.

 Port Colborne girls Sophie, 3, Kayla, 9, Ashley, 5 and Samantha, 4 came with their daycare group on Ashley's birthday, to celebrate the park opening and meet so many interesting people and their dogs.