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Public invited to Heather Moyse Heritage Park

Summerside Scene
by Peggy Miles

Heritage Park (photo: Peggy Miles)The Summerside Safety and Crime Prevention Committee is a volunteer group of citizens and safety advocates who take a lead role in making the small city a safer place. Supported by the City of Summerside, the group helps to develop long-term solutions towards crime prevention.

Issues such as property damage or youth-at-risk are typically discussed at committee meetings. In the past few weeks however, members have also chosen to focus on coordinating a community event at the Heather Moyse Heritage Park on May 22.

The recreation space is accessible via access points on Ottawa and Arcona Streets and features a pathway loop with multiple wooden bridges, a meadow, and a number of pavilions and picnic areas. A highlight is the presence of trees from PEI’s native forest, including 19 types of hardwoods and 10 species of softwoods.

The park has faced a number of challenges since it was developed as a community space a couple of years ago. Sometimes a haven for unsavoury activity and late night hangout, it’s caused a certain amount of unease with neighbours and citizens. A year ago the East Prince Women’s Information Centre hosted a march at the park in support of women’s safety. That’s when the idea for a bigger community event first developed.

Says Andrew Richardson, who chairs the Safety & Crime Prevention Committee. “When neighbours know each other and take ownership of their local public spaces they tend to be safer. We are hosting this event as a way for neighbours to introduce themselves and to celebrate a great park and spring's arrival.”

Taking place from 4–7 pm, the event will feature a barbeque, music and activities along the one-kilometre pathway loop. The event is supported by the municipality and the local Communities in Bloom committee—they’ll be prepping a garden bed where event-goers can plant flowers on the night of the event.

The Summerside go!PEI committee is also participating. Says Summerside go!PEI Chairperson Melanie Ramsay-Mugridge, “Go!PEI is excited to grow a partnership with the Safety and Crime Prevention Committee in Summerside. The goals of the committee blend well with the goals of go!PEI. Providing opportunities for people, of all ages, to take part in low or no cost activities and educational initiatives builds stronger, more cohesive communities,”

All Summerside residents and visitors are welcome. The rain date for the event is May 23. Information can be found on Facebook at Community BBQ at Heather Moyse Heritage Park.

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