What does Hawkesbury want for l’ile du Chenail?

Gregg Chamberlain
EAP
Hawkesbury residents with ideas about the future recreational development of l’ile du Chenail should make a point to attend one of the public consultation meetings scheduled for November.

“We are hoping to have the greatest participation possible,” said Nicole Trudeau, parks and recreation director, during an October 31 interview. “And hear lots of ideas.”

Two public information sessions are scheduled as part of l’ile du Chenail review consultation process. The meetings are November 7 and 21, 6 to 8 p.m., in the community meeting room at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex.

The first meeting is a stakeholders’ session for local business owners and representatives for community and recreation associations. The second is a general public information and comments session. Trudeau noted that any resident unable to attend the November 21 session is welcome to sit in on the November 7 meeting, and offer their ideas about future uses and improvements to recreational and cultural facilities on l’ile du Chenail.

Hawkesbury council approved a recommendation for l’ile du Chenail review consultation process during its September 9 session. The consultant firm, Sierra Planning and Management, was hired to conduct the review, including getting feedback from residents about their priorities for l’ile du Chenail as a local recreational site.

“We want to know what they (residents) would like to see with their island,” said Trudeau. “This is more than just a municipal park. This is the entrance to our town.”

L’ile du Chenail is 20 acres of open space and woodland, located along the Ottawa River, at the western end of the Long Sault Bridge, one of main routes for Ontario traffic into Québec towards Montréal and points beyond. The island, which includes Confededration Park, is the first view of Hawkesbury for visitors from the East.

“It is almost half of the greenspace we have in Hawkesbury,” said Trudeau, adding that results of the review will help with future budget planning for improvements to and recreational use of Confederation Park, the boat launch and dock, Le Chenail cultural centre, and other facilities.