July 15, 2019 / For Immediate Release
BRIDGEWATER, NOVA SCOTIA – The first phase of the 115-acre River Ridge Common day park opened this weekend in New Germany. Spanning both sides of the South Shore Annapolis Valley Trail, River Ridge Common offers scenic opportunities to view Indian Brook Falls and the ravine down to Ross Brook.
“Acquiring open space to address present and future need is part of the Municipality’s Open Space Strategic Plan,” said Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “We heard from residents North of the 103 that they wanted a day park in their area similar to what’s available at the MARC in Dayspring, and we’re excited to realise this plan.”
Phase One includes trails that meet accessibility guidelines and a large natural playground with features that encourage exploration, adventure and skills development. Phase Two (November 2019) will include washrooms, single track mountain bike trails, additional accessible trails, an Off Highway Vehicle pull off and picnic area next to the rail trail. Phase Three will include a lookoff and naturalized gardens.
“We relied on our partnerships, especially with the River Ridge Common Committee, a local community group whose mandate was to help guide the development of River Ridge Common,” said District 5 Councillor Cathy Moore. “Another significant partnership to this project is our local young people. In the last two autumn seasons, approximately 40 local youth from the High School and the Nova Scotia Community College participated in trail work days that engaged them in site planning, species identification and hands-on trail projects. The involvement of local youth and the community in all aspects of this park and trail project is paramount to ensure long-term stewardship and enjoyment of the site.”
“This project has also received significant donations from the New Germany Lions Club, the New Germany Promotional Society, the New Germany Rink Committee, and generous in-kind donations from community members,” said District 7 Councillor Wade Carver.
The Province of Nova Scotia also provided funding towards the project. “Having access to parks, playgrounds and trails is an incredibly important part of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle,” said Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister, Leo Glavine. “We have made it a priority to ensure all Nova Scotians can participate in sport and recreation and we are pleased to see phase one of this important project come to life.”