The Town of Amherstburg is seeking input from residents as it works with the Town of Essex to develop a Master Plan for Co-An park, an underutilized jewel in McGregor jointly owned and managed by the two municipalities.
There will be an Open House at the McGregor Community Centre Hall at 9571 Walker Road on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. An online survey has also been posted to Talk The Burg. Residents have until December 30 to fill it out.
Council agreed in September to spend up to $10,000 to work with the Town of Essex to engage the public and identify redevelopment opportunities for the sprawling park, which already includes six baseball diamonds, three soccer fields, two tennis courts, playground equipment, walking trails, picnic tables, washrooms and a pavilion and canteen.
It is also the home of the Essex County Steam and Gas Engine Museum and plays host to popular events like the McGregor Mug Run and International Beer Festival and the McGregor Music Festival.
While this 15.9-hectare park is technically located in Essex, just east of the Walker Road dividing line with Amherstburg, it is jointly owned 50/50 by both municipalities and caters to a significant number of Amherstburg residents. It was founded in 1977 by the Townships of Anderdon and Colchester North and it is overseen by a board comprised of residents and councillors from both municipalities.
I know some people think Amherstburg shouldn’t invest in this park because it is technically in Essex but I don’t share that view. I think what – or who – is on top of the fields and tennis courts is more important than the geography of the land beneath. Amherstburg residents use this park today and more will use it in the future, especially if we make improvements, as additional subdivisions are constructed in McGregor.
What’s more, operating this park and adding new amenities only costs Amherstburg fifty per cent of the total because Essex pays for the other half. That opens up a host of possibilities, like a splash pad, for example, that might be out of reach if Amherstburg residents had to solely foot the bill.
You can’t get where you’re going if you don’t know where you want to go, so this public process is the beginning of a Master Plan to help “guide the park’s future development and growth.” Hope to see you at the Open House!
Hard copies of the survey are available in the vestibules at Town Hall at 271 Sandwich Street South or the Libro Centre at 3295 Meloche Road. If you require assistance or accommodation to complete the survey, please phone 519-736-0012 or email [email protected].