Enhancing areas of recreation, relaxation and culture

by | Sep 26, 2022

Enhancing areas of recreation, relaxation and culture

Florenceville-Bristol’s Riverside Park and Shogomoc Railway site
revitalization project gets RDC support

By Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Sept. 26

Florenceville-Bristol announced a funding agreement with the Regional
Development Corporation (RDC) on Sept. 26 to continue the multi-phase
revitalization of Riverside Park and the Shogomoc Railway site.

As part of the plan, the town and RDC announced the receipt of $268,115
towards the $668,115 project through RDC’s Rural Economy Fund.

Florenceville-Bristol’s Tourism and Business Manager Bobbie O’Donnell
explained in the joint release that the town would cover the balance of
the project cost to complete phase one of Riverside Park and Shogomoc
Site Revitalization.

Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister and Carleton-Victoria
MLA Margaret Johnson described the revitalization of Riverside Park and
Shogomoc as important to building a vibrant and sustainable town.

“Residents and visitors will be able to enjoy this beautiful green
space, and our government is pleased to support this important project,”
she said.

Phase one of the project would see a public washroom facility built,
including a drinking fountain, bike racks and an entry plaza at
Riverside Park.

The Shogomoc site would get an improved public boat launch road and
parking lot, a floating dock, pruning and signage.

Florenceville-Bristol Mayor Karl Curtis welcomed the announcement,
coming on the heels of an ACOA funding announcement for the same
facilities last week.

“The revitalization of these spaces will offer residents and tourists
the comfort and ability to be more outdoor-active, socially engaged and
culturally exposed to the environment and heritage of the properties,”
he said. “It is imperative there are areas for play, recreation,
relaxation, and a variety of cultural events within a community, and
this site is a natural selection.”

Curtis said town officials are confident the project will deliver
employment opportunities and commercial benefits beyond construction.

For example, he cited “enduring employment associated with the growth of
existing and new tourism offerings, such as accommodations, food and
beverage providers and equipment rentals for outdoor enthusiasts like
cyclists and paddlers.”

On Sept. 20, the town announced ACOA funding of $30,000 towards the
town’s $60,000 project to purchase kayaks, canoes, bicycles and safety
equipment like life jackets and bike helmets to allow visitors to take
advance of the St. John River and proposed nine-kilometre community

O’Donnell explained that upon funding approval from Infrastructure
Canada, the multi-use pathway, which the town calls MUP, would be a
combination of new and existing active non-motorized transportation
trails connecting one part of the town to the other.

She said that in addition to the hiking and biking trails along the
riverbank, future plans call for a signature lookout and viewing decks
offering fantastic river views.

“The site will also see the addition of timber framed picnic shelters, a
fire sphere, which replicates a wood burning fireplace as a feature
piece, potentially an event barn.

O’Donnell said the number of phases required would depend on funding and
budget availability.

She said preliminary work for phase one is underway with the hope for
completion in the summer of 2023.

O’Donnell believes the revitalization project will generate
private-sector business interest hoping to take advantage of
opportunities to provide products, services and experiences that align
with Florenceville-Bristol’s brand as French Fry Capital of the World.

“We are actively seeking and accepting expressions of interest from
tourism sector operators for the facilities at the Shogomoc Site,” she

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