The Optimist club of Greensville has been denied access to Websters Falls Park for their 150th Canada Day celebrations know as “Picnic in the Park”.

On Friday May 26th the Hamilton Conservation Authority advised the Greensville Optimist Club they could not hold their picnic in the park this year as they have done for the past 17 years! Their reasons centered around the new busing service, closed parking lots and their inability to accommodate the community free access to the Canada Day celebrations.

On June 1st the Optimists took the opportunity to meet with the HCA board of directors in an effort to reverse staff recommendations. We acknowledge there are obstacles in accommodating the request but optimistically none that can’t be overcome. In support of the request to continue we reminded the board of our history that began in 1999 when the town of Dundas transferred the park to HCA.

The HCA would only assume ownership if the cobblestone bridge was fixed or removed. Rather than see it demolished the Greensville Optimists sought and received a 5 year lease for the bridge  site from the town, hired engineers, a contractor and raised the required $375,000 to rebuild the bridge. Club members, friends of the bridge and community volunteer gave countless hours and endless commitment to the success of the project. The ridge was completed and rededication took place on July 1, 2000 with a celebration beyond description. The park was full to capacity and pride of accomplishment was most evident in the many people who contributed their time and talents to the success of this project.

Additionally the club raised another $125,000 and gave countless volunteer hours, material and equipment to develop what is now Optimist Park. With a restored historic mill pond wall, parking and trails along and over Spencer Creek which connect to the Crooks Hollow area. Completing a link between Websters Falls and Christie Lake.

It is because of this long and fruitful relationship with the HCA that is centered around these two parks, their proximity in the community and the amenities of the things that turn a park into a place where people like to meet, play and enjoy this great country that the Optimists hold fast to the position that their Canada Day celebration should be held in Websters Falls Park.

Our picnic was scheduled to include games for the children, face painting, balloons, flags, a bounce castle, boat pond, highland dancers, concert band, fire trucks and greetings from all 3 levels of government. Food and beverages available from our food trailer.

Despite the clubs effort to regain access to the park the HCA board could only encourage the Optimists to hold their celebration elsewhere, like Bullocks Corners Park.

Over the weekend of June 3rd members looked at the logistics of relocating to Bullocks Corners and concluded unanimously it would not be possible and reluctantly agreed to cancel, pay the concessionaires for late cancellation fees and refund the Hamilton Community Foundation their grant for what was to be a special 150th Canadian birthday celebration.


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