Page 1

Submitted by Ron Kerr As Councilor for Campbell River and local resident of the Greater Campbellton area, I am greatly impressed with the work that our citizens of Campbellton have done over the past three years to improve our local community. I've observed, and often worked side by side, with seniors, property owners, local residents, men, women and school children, as they worked together to beautify the streets, lanes and parkways of Campbellton. These community activities were often done in adverse weather conditions but all forged on with the work in good spirits and great cheer. Food, jokes and local stories were shared and mused over. New friends were made. Work parties enthusiastically planted bulbs and flowers creating pleasing environments for the passersby. Invasive species such as Broom and Himalayan Blackberry bushes were chopped and removed opening up many new vistas in park areas and roadsides. Roadside grass and weeds were cut and trimmed; bark mulch was spread on planting areas. Litter and abandoned garbage was also removed. Other volunteer work parties painted out the graffiti on vandalized sides of buildings, signs, utility boxes, public and private property. Vandalism and other property damage cause huge expense to local communities and we certainly did our part in alleviating these expenses. Campbellton is a community which boasts many attractive assets alongside some rather unsightly deficiencies. Much has been done by our volunteers to balance out this situation. The Campbellton Neighbourhood Association, a group of individuals, residents and business owners, work hard to spearhead change to create a new sense of optimism in our community. Working with City staff they have achieved and received financial grants and community planning support. Campbellton is an affordable community with many amenities within comfortable walking distance. Many renovated and refurbished houses with landscaped yards have changed the face of the older neighborhoods. High quality commercial buildings and multifamily apartments replace vacant lots with new families and new business. Businesses such as ‘Kiki's Printing Services’, ‘Mackie Research Capital’, ‘Coastline Mazda’, have moved into the area and brought new energy and vibrancy. ‘Outdoor Addictions’, ‘River Sportsman’ and ‘Swicked Cycles’ occupy new, upgraded and attractive character buildings at the north entranceway to the City and create a nucleus for outdoor adventure and supply. ‘Mussels and More’ create a hub for a future arts development to thrive and prosper. Commercial buildings throughout the area have been given a fresh coat of paint, improved facades with parking and signage improvements. Though there are still areas of transition and neglect, you now have a feeling of great support and awareness throughout. The bar has been raised with the greater expectations of the community. Campbellton has historically been a mixed zoning area with its industrial and commercial businesses sharing streets with its residential neighbors. Moving ahead it is important that sidewalk and intersection issues are addressed to improve safety of pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Future needs may consider the improvement of parks, public spaces, creation of community gardens, and to improve access to the heritage river at our doorstep. There is a lot for the community to look forward to. There is no doubt many challenges present themselves when one looks at Campbellton. However, as someone who has walked every road, lane and driveway in the Greater Campbellton area, I see only a new sense of pride and confidence from the community, along with a desire to participate in a new long term, sustainable vision for its future.

Ron kerr campbellton newsletter article