New nature observation deck enhances hiking experience
Rotary Park is offering the community a new view of the city.
Not too far down the New Sudbury trail, and up a flight of stairs, there is a large, galvanized steel, nature observation deck, offering hikers, bikers and other trail users a panoramic vista of the city below.
"This is one more dimension to enhance the experience of people using the park," said Brian Smith, co-chair of Rotary Park for the Rotary Club of Sudbury Sunrisers, at the unveiling of the platform Sept. 20.
"We have a terrific and versatile series of trails and boardwalks ... this is just one more asset in the park that will allow people to look out over their beautiful city."
The platform was the culmination of a number of groups coming together, Smith said.
Tim James, a Rotarian who is also an architect, designed the project, students in the welding fabrication program at Cambrian College handled the construction, Rotarians delivered the pieces of the platform to its new home and a local construction company installed the footings and assembled the deck.
"It sounds like a lot, but in reality, we had so much cheerful help, that it was kind of an easy project to pull off," Smith said. "We want to thank all our partners for the help. People in this community want to help, they want to make this place better for everybody."
Rob Duncan, program co-ordinator of the welding fabrication program at Cambrian College, said the project offered invaluable first-hand experience to his students.
"They have to work to the same standards as they do in the industry," he said. "So students understand what they have to do when they get to the job a lot better than just working in the school atmosphere."
The observation deck started off as a volunteer project on weekends, Duncan explained, involving about 20 students in the program. Now, the drawings for the project have been implemented into the classroom as well as a learning tool.
"It's been more than just shop work," the teacher said.
Additionally, having a piece of their work on display that the public actually sees and uses is a matter of pride with the students.
"It's something they can actually show their families," he said.
Sylvia Barnard, president of Cambrian College, reiterated that sentiment.
"We want to be sure our students have an opportunity to give back, but it's not always an easy fit in the trades programs," she said. "The students that were involved in this project are over the moon with the fact that they can walk through this park, they can take their families and friends and say 'This is how I've given back to the community.'"
Rotary Park was created in 1998. The trail system connects New Sudbury to the downtown.
"We've come a long way since we established the park," Smith said. "It's a credit to everybody in the two Rotary Clubs who have put so much effort into this park and made it what it is today. It is a jewel and it's only going to get better from here."
For more information on the Rotary Park Trail, visit www.rainbowroutes.com.