Greek mythology imagined Arcadia as a vision of pastoralism and harmony with nature*. In Kanata, the new community of Arcadia lies on the doorstep of a riverine and wetland natural setting – a ribbon of life – along a two kilometer restored section of the Carp River. How fortunate Arcadia is to be part of this large and unique natural area in suburban Ottawa. What are its possibilities for realizing harmony with nature?
The Friends of the Carp River are working with the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, City of Ottawa, and Ottawa Stewardship Council to animate the restored river and its wetlands for education and discovery, a Living Classroom along the Carp River:
- an education resource for schools,
- a place for families to learn about wetlands and biodiversity,
- a site for citizen science and research,
- perhaps eventually an eco-tourism experience for visitors to Ottawa.
Beside the Living Classroom on the restored river lies a 6 acre parcel of land designated for a park in the Arcadia subdivision. River Chase Park will be built with recreation amenities to meet Arcadia’s needs. But it can be so much more than just another suburban park. It’s a gateway to nature, connecting the community to the pulsing vitality of riparian shorelines: wading birds, pollinators and wildflowers, basking turtles, river otters, and the seasonal rhythm of migrating birds.
iWonder – How can Arcadia’s park be:
- a place for inspiration, recreation, gathering, and learning?
- integrated with the river, wetlands, and wildlife?
- a celebration of the ribbon of life?
- an experience that is about more than just playing or watching a game?
- a place for meditation, contemplation, and well-being.
The community will decide what play structures, sports, and other recreation activities go into River Chase Park. However, the community also has an opportunity to enhance their park experience by incorporating design features that integrate the park with its remarkable surroundings, within budget constraints.
This opportunity comes about through the partnership of organizations who are developing the Living Classroom. We are talking with Councillor Jenna Sudds and the Arcadia Community Association to explore the possibilities for the park.
The Living Classroom is a multi-year project that will be launched later in 2020 along with a fundraising campaign. Part of the Living Classroom vision requires a River House – a gathering and education place.
This is Arcadia’s opportunity to create a unique park experience in Ottawa. We will continue to explore the possibilities with the community to live in harmony with and celebrate the ribbon of life in its backyard.
Councillor Sudds will be hosting a community session in Spring 2020 and a consultation website will be launched to gather community input.
* from Wikipedia