SACKVILLE, N.B. – It’s an idea that’s been talked about for more than a decade. This year, if government funding comes through, it could become a reality.
Sackville’s historic Pickard Quarry could be converted into a community park in 2018 – not only capitalizing on the space for cultural and recreational opportunities but also using the property for a water retention pond that will become a bigger part of an overall stormwater management plan for the town.
“There’s a big community asset here we think has a lot of potential,” said Jamie Burke, senior manager of corporate projects for the town of Sackville.
Burke said the town has applied for a $1-million grant for the quarry project through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) municipal Climate Innovation Program. If successful, the town will need to pitch in $200,000 towards the $1.2-million project.
Burke said the town is optimistic the application will be successful, as it ties in well with the guidelines of the climate innovation program, which funds climate change projects with a focus on mitigation and adaptation.
The project is directly related to the stormwater management work being carried out on Lorne Street, he said, and provides an opportunity to store water upstream, which would help alleviate the storage volume in the Lorne Street area.
The work would include building a dam or a berm within the quarry to allow the water to be stored during a heavy rain event, which will then serve as a controlled outlet to allow that overflow to drain out into the town’s water system when the tides have gone down.
And while that work is happening, Burke said it would provide the perfect opportunity to develop the quarry, located at the end of Quarry Lane, into a community park, an idea that has been brought to council’s table a number of times over the past 10 to 15 years.
“It doesn’t need to be just a holding pond,” said Burke.
Trails, plantings and interpretive signage would be included in the development, turning a piece of the town’s history into an educational and recreational green space.
“It was a working quarry at one time,” said Burke, noting that sandstone from the quarry was used in a number of local buildings as well as ones throughout the Maritimes and beyond.
The quarry operated from 1883 to 1979 and Burke said this project, through the interpretive signage, could educate visitors and townspeople on the quarry’s history while also telling the story of how the community is managing its stormwater in a sustainable way.
“We think it’s real exciting. It could tell the unique story of the quarry and it also ties in to what we’re doing on Lorne Street,” he said. “So fingers crossed they’ll see the potential here as well.”