There are now locks on the track at Beverley Morgan Park in Pickering, Canada. Residents of Pickering can put on their shoes and get outside for some exercise as the weather begins to warm up. But Shirley Colley-Scheuer discovered the track behind Pine Ridge Secondary School, where she had been running for 20 years, was now under lock and key. She said that her daughter learned to ride a bicycle on it.
When she arrived at Beverley Morgan Park, it was locked so she contacted the City of Pickering, which informed her that artificial turf had been installed and that the area could only be used with a permit. The track was used by a lot of people before it was locked up, Ms. Colley-Scheuer said.
Her dissatisfaction led her to send the City another email. Mark Guinto, the coordinator of public affairs for York Region, explained that the artificial turf at the park was paid for by the city as part of the SouthEast Collector project in exchange for pumping sewage into Pickering.
In 2010, York Region and the City reached an agreement that enabled it to twin the Southeast collector trunk, also known as the ‘Big Pipe,’ which transports 90 percent of York’s sewage to the Pickering sewer plant for treatment. An $8-million commitment in community beautification works was included in the agreement, which was to be completed by 2017. One of them is artificial turf.
Ms. Colley-Scheuer, concerned that residents will be kept from staying active, said that the deal was “clearly made and not thought through.”
As a result of the agreement with York, Third Concession Road will be paved, Palmer Bridge will be replaced, a multi-use trail was created, and Ontario Parks will undertake a wide range of ecological restoration projects. Durham Catholic District School Board, as well as Durham District School Board, received funds for the construction of greening projects, as well as scholarships.
According to Richard Holborn, director of engineering and public works, there will now be annual scholarships in the Southeast Collector’s name. According to Rob Gagen, Pickering’s supervisor of parks, $1.2 million was spent on improvements at Beverley Morgan Park. This field is used by students and local sports teams, and the construction has greatly improved its quality.
The fence that had always been there was removed to protect the turf, and a new fence has been installed and is now locked to reduce the risk of damage or contamination, along with the need for repair. A new scoreboard was also included in the project.
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