100th Anniversary Community Project

The Rotary Club of Port Hope is one of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs worldwide and part of the 1.2 million Rotarians who dedicate their time and talent in activities that promote health, peace and prosperity in their local communities and internationally. In May 2022, the Rotary Club of Port Hope will celebrate 100 years of service to the community and to mark the occasion the club selected a special project, to be carried out in cooperation with the Municipality of Port Hope and in coordination with several stakeholders. The name of the project is Port Hope Rotary Centennial Project and it involves developing the land at Corbett’s Dam into a park and trails. In keeping with the theme, the proposed name for the park is Port Hope Rotary Centennial Park.
Project and Its Goals
The proposed parkland is a four acre parcel (about 1.6 hectares) bordered by McKibbon Street to the north, Cavan Street to the west, Molson Street to the south and the Ganaraska River to the east. There are several land owners involved: the Municipality of Port Hope, the County of Northumberland and a private landowner, Clay Benson. The Municipality is currently conducting a property ownership survey.
The goals of the project are to:
  • Improve and beautify the existing green space for use by the community
  • Create a welcoming and attractive green space for visitors who come to view the trout and salmon runs in the spring and fall, respectively
  • Enhance natural areas with plantings and protect existing habitats
  • Provide a quality, lasting legacy to celebrate Port Hope Rotary’s 100 years of service
The Port Hope Rotary Club formed a Centennial Committee of its members to define the project. Representatives from the committee also met with Municipality staff and with the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority to solicit their input and concurrence as ideas began to formulate for the new park and trails. Rotary has also met with the Municipality’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee and the Waterfront and River Walkway Working Group to inform them about the project. 
Based on the information gathered to date the scope of the project is defined as follows:
In scope:
  1. Develop the existing grassed area into a parkette using quality shade shelters, seating and picnic amenities
  2. Plant trees and shrubs to provide further shade and to beautify the area
  3. The location and ground surfacing for shade shelters and picnic tables are to allow easy access for grass cutting
  4. Improve views of the river from the parking lot area
  5. Improve the existing trail loop by removing dead trees and unnecessary materials, while leaving the trail areas natural
  6. Create river lookouts from the trail loop
  7. Create a new trail adjacent to Cavan Street and Molson Street, connecting to the trail loop
  8. Surface the parkette paths and the wooded trails using surface materials that are suitable for wheelchairs and strollers
  9. Install seating areas along the trails
  10. Install appropriate signage identifying Port Hope Rotary and trail entrances
Out of scope:
  1. Improvements to McKibbon Street viewing area
  2. Improvements to the parking lot
  3. Street entrance to trails from Cavan Street or Molson Street
  4. A link to Optimist Park via under Molson Street bridge or at street level
  5. Installation of a family-friendly play area with a climbing, slide and swing set
Preliminary Conceptual Design
Port Hope Rotary retained the services of a landscape architectural firm, Basterfield & Associates Inc. in Peterborough, to develop a conceptual design plan (Attachments A, B, C and D). The plan shows the existing parking lot off McKibbon Street with bollards separating it from the proposed parkette and trails. A new two-metre-wide path from the parking lot surrounds the parkette, which is equipped with three Port Hope approved gazebos and four to six picnic tables, all on concrete pads. Ten deciduous shade trees are proposed, along with new cedar plantings and dogwood planting beds. The area between the parking lot and the river is to be cleared and planted with grass for an improved view of the dam and river. The path surrounding the parkette is to be surfaced with limestone screenings, suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. Nature trails branch off from the parkette and each entrance is to be labelled. New Rotary Centennial benches are proposed near the parking lot and at other locations along the trails and lookouts.
The conceptual design shows the existing circular trail loop with two new viewing areas of the river. A new trail is shown, which runs from the parkette along the bottom of the bank at Cavan Street and joins with the trail loop. The existing low vegetation area at Cavan Street is to be cleared and grassed. All nature trails are to be two metres wide and surfaced with wood fibre chips, which are approved by Port Hope’s Accessibility Advisory Committee. Dead trees, brush and debris are to be managed and the wooded area left natural. 
The Municipality retained an arborist, Cressman Tree Maintenance & Landscaping, to survey the risks and identify trees that should be removed. Rotary also retained an independent arborist, Jordan Rolph, to prepare a tree-work estimate based on the preliminary conceptual design.
The key stakeholders in this project are the following:
  1. Rotary Club of Port Hope
  2. Municipality of Port Hope
  3. County of Northumberland
  4. Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority
  5. Clay Benson, private landowner
The Port Hope Rotary Club will continue to provide regular communication and coordination with stakeholders. Notwithstanding, the Municipality will be the responsible authority for formal approvals, for all procurement and for all future maintenance. Municipality responsibility is to be coordinated through Julia Snoek, Director, Parks Recreation and Culture.