The ribbon cutting ceremony took place in Carman's newest pocket park on Thursday named the Boyneside Pocket Park. The concept of a pocket park is taking relatively small area of unsused or underused land, and turning it into a greenspace for the communtiy to enjoy.

Carman-Duffering Communities in Bloom Co-Chair Judy McGregor said the idea was born two and a half years ago, at a committee meeting, where it was decided, they would break up into groups to do a walkabout in town.  

"Groups went in all different directions, and one group just happened to kind of come this way and went across our beautiful little footbridge, and noticed this kind of awful looking, empty piece of property that basically was not being used for much of anything. So, we really thought this could be an area that we could focus on because it is right here on the edge of the (Boyne) river. It's right across from a senior housing apartment building, and it's right in the center of town across the river from Ryall Park. So, the location was perfect."  

Boyneside pocket park is located just steps away from Riverview Legion Place.

The next step was to ask the Town of Carman for permission to turn the area into a pocket park.  

Jennifer Halbesma was hired to design some work in the downtown area, including the new Boyneside Pocket Park. McGregor noted what has materialized, is a version from her drawing.  

She explained there are members on the committee who are very enthusiastic about keeping things natural and conscientious about conservation. 

"Right from the get go, even the idea of putting down concrete was going to be a no-no. We wanted everything to be as friendly to the Earth as possible. So, we're maintaining natural plants, as much as we possibly can. Even the trees or natural species, normal species for this area, all our wild flowers, and things like that are natural to the environment, and then that lower parkway is really just sort of like a walk through the old woods, along the river." 

McGregor shared an example of how the community came together to make this dream a reality.  


During the official opening ceremony Thursday afternoon, attendees were invited to get involved by finding spaces for the next pocket parks to be developed. McGregor added it doesn't have to be as elaborate as Boyneside, a few flowers, a bench or something else to beautify spaces around the community are a welcome addition to the work of the committee. 

She shared her thoughts on this special day to officially open the park to the public. 

"Gratitude, for sure, because the energy some people poured into this space has really been quite phenomenal. Sometimes that scares people away, if you've got a group like Communities In Bloom, we don't want everybody to think we're all about digging in the garden, and weeding and just work, work, work. We're more about coming up with ideas to beautify the town. I think we really appreciate the work and dedication so many people put into this space." 

McGregor's favourite feature, about this latest addition to Carman, is the spectacular flowers that have flourished in the park, due to great growing conditions this Summer, adding it makes her want to go home and redo her garden.