Friday, March 28, 2008

Porcupine Lake Rejuvenation Project

The Porcupine Lake Rejuvenation Project was officially kicked off this week with a significant donation from Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines (PGM).
The company presented a cheque in the amount of $50,000 Wednesday night.
The project, which will be carried out in phases over several years, will see the creation and improvement of hiking and walking trails around Porcupine Lake along with several new gateways and access points for the public. The overall cost is estimated at more than $330.000.
There is a parallel project underway to see the rejuvenation of the Bannerman Park, which is located at the eastern point of Porcupine Lake, beside Highway 101.
The rejuvenation plans will coincide with several of the 100th anniversary celebrations that will be observed in the city from 2009 to 2012.
The Porcupine Lake plan was outlined by Mattagami Region Conservation Authority manager Kees Pols, who has played an active role in the rejuvenation of Gillies Lake in the past 25 years.
Pols said fundraising for the project will be done in partnership with the Wintergreen Fund for Conservation and the organizers of the Bannerman Park Rejuvenation Project.
The plan will see the creation of a formal trail network around the lake, along with rest areas, shelters, park benches and 20 access points, or gateways, where the public can easily reach the trails.
Pols says the effort will take several years to complete, but he is confident it will come about.
“When you take on this sort of project, you have to expect to spend some time at it,” said Pols.
The proposal to rejuvenate Bannerman Park grew out of the 2002 Whitney Reunion, said organizer Billie Rheault. She said funding for that reunion was done with the proviso that any extra monies would be directed at Bannerman Park.
When the Wintergreen Fund announced last year it was looking for partnerships on fixing up the Porcupine Lake area, the Bannerman Park Committee decided to get on board.
The Bannerman Park project will also be done in phases, over a several years.
The basic plan it to turn it into a popular green space for picnics, outdoor community events and even a place of solitude.
PGM Manager Chris Cormier said that his company was pleased to be the kickoff sponsor of the project simply because it was the Dome Mine, one of PGM’s predecessor companies, that pioneered gold mining in the camp.
“This is sort of bringing back the past,” Cormier noted. “Some of these trails started 100 years ago. They’re certainly not new – probably all overgrown in some cases. They’ve been around a lot longer than us.
“As most of you know our company has been associated with Timmins now for just about 100 years. That’s quite exciting. We’ve got employees that are fifth generation, grew up in Porcupine and South Porcupine,” he said.
“We’re very aware of the history we’ve had in this community and we certainly wanted to be involved,” said Cormier

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