Saturday, February 24, 2024

Concern For Memorial Park Camp Sites

Letter to the Editor

Editor,

When I read the recent letter about plans for the ‘Park’ I realized that we may lose our best camp sites. We have lived in the former St. Vincent Township for over 50 years and the park has been part of our lives even before that.

Memorial Park was created in the Fifties and included an area for camping. The size remains the same. I believe there is no desire, on the part of campers, to take anything away from the rest of the park. There is something special about camping. R.V. sales across North America have never been greater. Most of us started out in a tent. Even today young families on a tight budget can get together some gear and spend a little quality time together. Your kids will remember camping with Mom and Dad for the rest of their lives.

We like the lack of gates and fences. Everyone is free to roam, including throughout the campground. Old friendships are renewed and new ones made. Big Rigs are not excluded but are much easier to park at the harbour campsites. It is also a good area for visitors to keep an eye on their boats. However, to make it more attractive, sewer hook ups should be added. The approach to the present dump station is awkward and often locked. The terminal should be located beside a traffic lane similar to Ontario Parks. R.V. travellers are often looking for a place to empty their tanks and take on fresh water. If we offered this as a free service they would discover our waterfront and might decide to stay.

Our town, with the help from the Kinsmen, has for the most part done a good job. I am amazed to read that Memorial Park is the only thing owned by Meaford that makes a profit. Fees are high and I caution the Town not to become greedy. All parks are busy on summer weekends, but I often see empty sites through the week. A Mon. to Fri. ‘discount’ might fill some of these. I think the cabin and yurt idea is a guaranteed ‘loser’. ‘Seasonals’ belong in the private sector. Example: Rockwood (Grand River Conservation Authority) got rid of them.

The results from the public meeting are likely biased in favour of the non-camping population. Campers from out of town are unlikely to show up at a poorly advertised meeting held midweek in April. No doubt ratepayers will question the cost of hiring a consultant from Guelph. I urge our ‘decision makers’ to:

  • talk to our campers

  • try camping

  • consult with other parks

I have listed a few campsites where we have camped on the waterfront.
– Anne Osbourne -“Soo”- Michigan
– Rene Brunelle -Remi Lake
-Last Duel – Perth
-Victoria -Smith Falls
-Lions – Merickville
-Nagagamisis – Hornepayne
-White Lake – Mobert

We are retired now and spring and fall camping at Memorial works fine for us. Even if the weather is cold and wet we like watching the Bay from our back window. The sound of waves is pure magic.

Long time camper,

Long time resident and tax payer,

Ken Risk, Meaford

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