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LETTER: Sports field near Southshore Centre would be 'disastrous'

'Destruction of the woods and naturalized areas would permanently damage this area,' says reader
2019-09-30 Southshore Centre RB 4
Barrie's Southshore Centre is shown in a file photo. | Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday

BarrieToday welcomes letters to the editor at [email protected] or via the website. Please include your full name, daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to a story titled 'Sea Cadets relocation, sports field get early OK for south shore,' published May 9. The matter is up for further discussion at Barrie city council on Wednesday night. 

I wish to express my concern about the possible construction of a multi-use sports field on the naturalized area of our waterfront east of the Military Heritage Park.  

It is shocking and appalling that council had deliberately excluded residents who frequent this area to express their ongoing and long-term support of the waterfront nature preserve. Please defer this significant decision and allow for public debate.

Choosing to relocate the Barrie Sea Cadets to the Southshore Centre building is a fair, just and logical choice. I unreservedly support this action and see no reason to delay passage of the vote on Wednesday, May 15. The establishment of a parade area for the cadets has merit so that they can exercise their duties near the Southshore location. 

It is unnecessary to build a multi-purpose sports field to accommodate their needs. A suitable parade area can be built on the property immediately west of the west-side parking lot of the Southshore Centre. This location would provide a shorter distance to have to march to the parade area as opposed to a distant multi-purpose sports field.

Destruction of the woods and naturalized areas would permanently damage this area and render the remaining naturalized areas to a quarter of the current size. Habitats would be destroyed as well as many species who live in the woods and grass areas.  

On Sunday, I walked this area with my dog and was delighted to see the rabbits, squirrels, a pileated woodpecker and many other birds. In the past, I have enjoyed watching the foxes and their kits frolic near their den. The well-worn nature paths are indicative of how many people enjoy this preserve of nature.

It would be a disastrous choice to build a sports field in this area. I urge council to defer voting on a joint-use sports field. It is not even supported by the rugby and football leagues, only lacrosse and soccer.  

Thoroughly investigate the true, legitimate needs of the Cadets for a parade area. Allow for authentic, thorough debate by all to genuinely resolve the choice with a just solution.

Paul J. Ecker