Goulds MHA John Dinn speaks at an event today in which the province announced $100,000 for Bidgood Park in The Goulds area of st. John's. The development of the next phase of Bidgood Park will be little easier with the investment. The announcement took place on one of the walkways in the 38 acre park off the Back Line in the area. The money will be added to the $300,000 invested by the city and another $300,000 donated by the Bidgood family to build a new lookout platform and agricultural display area to commemorate the agricultural history of the area. Artist Gerry squires will also sculpt a six foot tall figure of a farmer with a sickle which is expected to be completed around June of 2014. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram
The provincial government has announced a $100,000 investment to the Grand Concourse Authority for Bidgood Park in the Goulds area of St. John's.
The funding will support the addition of a new lookout platform and agricultural display area.
Goulds MHA John Dinn made the announcement today on behalf of Keith Hutchings, minister of innovation, business and rural development, at the entrance to the park.
“Parks and green spaces are an important part of what makes a community special,” Hutchings said in a prepared statement. “One of the goals of Bidgood Park is to commemorate the agricultural history of Goulds. I am pleased that this $100,000 investment will support the Grand Concourse Authority in adding two new areas that will reflect the history of the community. With the addition of agriculture items donated by the Bidgood family and other members of the community, the display area will further enhance the Park, and the outlook area will provide a quiet place for visitors.”
In 2000, Roger and Jennie Bidgood donated 38 acres of land to the City of St. John's for the development of a public park in the Goulds area. In 2003, the City of St. John's and Goulds Recreation Association approached the Grand Concourse Authority to guide the master plan process. The master plan for the park was updated in 2012 and, as proposed, enhances the natural features of the site; Ryan's River and connected wetlands, large forested areas, and, scenic viewpoints.
“We remain extremely grateful to the Bidgood family for their generous donation of parkland in the Goulds area of the city,” said St. John’s Mayor Dennis O'Keefe. “The investment today by the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development will allow us to make Bidgood's Park a vibrant green, open space for residents to enjoy for years to come.”
Bidgood Park is bordered on the north side by Power’s Road and extends from the Back Line west to Howlett Memorial Drive. The creation of Bidgood Park provides an opportunity for preserving aspects of the historic landscape character of Goulds, particularly its rich farming tradition.
“With six kilometres of boardwalk and bridges established, the next step is to realize the two concepts for which the park was designed,” said Elaine Bidgood, daughter of Roger and Jennie Bidgood. “Our goal is to keep the park natural. There is a lot of natural beauty, wildlife and wetlands and we want to keep it that way. We also want to commemorate the agricultural community, which is what the Goulds is, and what it brings to the area.”
The current work plan for Bidgood Park includes initiatives such as trail development, a sculpture by artist Gerry Squires and picnic areas.
“Green space developments of this nature highlight the best a community has to offer,” said John Dinn, MHA for Kilbride. “Bidgood Park will now not only offer a fantastic recreational space for families, but will also provide a place to explore our community’s rich farming history.”
The Grand Concourse Authority is a non-profit, charitable organization, with a board of directors made up of representatives from a variety of community-based and government groups. It is with the support of its members that the authority is able to complete a wide array of community development projects.