William Teddy Park – Potential and Problems

Jun 14, 2018 @ 08:21

Many Wawa residents were shocked last August when William Teddy Park was closed. The increasing vandalism, littering and finally, the coupe de grace – the dumping of blackwater, sewage into our water supply, dictated that the easiest, cheapest thing to do was to barricade and close the park.

 

This pretty little spot where William Teddy and his wife, Louise Towab/Neganigijok discovered gold during a picnic in 1897, has always been a beautiful piece of property. It spent time in the early 60’s and 70’s as a campground, and the Rotary Club of Wawa managed it.

 

This spot has so much potential. The bench that was left there last year so that people could sit in comfort and admire the sunsets over Wawa, or watch the loons cruise the bay has disappeared. Instead there are two deep ruts, where I can imagine someone backed up so they could sit on the tailgate.

 

The rock outcrops were a favourite spot to sit with our daughter eating a sandwich overlooking Wawa Lake, a cool breeze blowing away the mosquitos.

 

Many photos have been taken from William Teddy Park of the Northern Lights. On a good night, they are visible over town, and over the mine hill. There is little light pollution there, allowing for great photography.

Northern Lights from William Teddy Park, April 2017.

 

There was even a pow wow held there once in the meadow. Saying it again – a beautiful spot with so much potential. I’m sure that there are many, many residents of Wawa that have similar remembrances of family experiences there.

 

But today, things are different. Carelessness and callousness has brought destruction to William Teddy. Despite the posts that were installed to protect some of the area from drivers looking to discover just how good their four-wheel drive is, and mud bog, destroying the grass. Litterers, dump their household garbage, garden waste, and grass clippings to rot in piles. The most popular drink in town must be Tim’s coffee as they are sprinkled in many little spots, careless markers of disrespect (even though there is no garbage receptable, take your empty cup home).

 

Council discussed some of the problems at Tuesday’s Planning Meeting. There is a dilemma facing Council and the Town. This is a great spot, no dispute – but maintenance costs. A discussion was begun by Councillor Tait about the problems, costs, and keeping the park open. Staff can write reports and make reccomendations, but in the end Council must make a decision and give direction as to what they wish to have happen.

 

Mayor Ron Rody and Councillor Tait made the decision to meet with Alex Patterson, Thursday morning to see first hand the property.

 

Wawa-news went out Tuesday night with a camera, and captured these visible problems:

 

This concrete building at one time hosted the showers. Structurally unsound, it needs to be removed.

 

The edging for the wharf has been there since the 80’s at least. Now it is falling off the concrete, the timbers, fire hose and tires need to be replaced.

 

This shows the entire length of the edging as it falls away from the wharf. What you cannot see is the sediment bar in the middle of the creek that causes difficulties/prevents some of the larger boats from launching.

 

The posts were installed to help protect the grass, but eager mudders have forced their way around and created huge, unsightly ruts in the grass. It was always a sight to watch my German Shepherds, Onyx and Charlie chasing their frisbees through the deep grass, catching glimpses of their rich coats as they ran. This is one of the few places that Wawaites can bring their dogs to run and release some of their energy.

August 2017, the grass is fighting to grow in the ruts.

June 2018, the park has been left open since it was plowed for the Wawa Ice Fishing Derby (first weekend in March). You can see the additional damage to the meadow that has been done since the snow melted.

 

 

 

 

This was a mere path last year, now it is a well-established road.

In the end, there will be a report written that will detail all the issues at the park and possible solutions. Council will receive the report, and make decisions. Money is sure to play a large part in this discussion and eventual decisions.

In the meantime, if you see someone destroying public property, dumping on public lands, call the police. Protect your investment in your community.

About Brenda Grundt

3 comments

  1. Its nice to hear that WT is in the spotlight, it is a great spot and I still enjoy it to this day. I’ve been out there several times with my kids since the thaw, I tought my daughter how to cast her fishing rod there while my son looked for more of William Teddy’s gold. I’ve picked up garbage and taught my children about respecting the environment while explaining the negative effect that carelesness can have on the wildlife and in turn back on us.

    Im hoping that increased awareness and gathering of ideas can help reinvigorate this beautiful lot, and hopefully those who spend their time and energy destroying it slowly will understand that the same amount of time and effort can otherwise be used positively to slowly restore this area to its former glory, a place we can all enjoy and be proud of.

    Looking forward to hearing more about what we can do to restore WT !!

    -Eric Leonard

  2. The boat loaunch at William Teddy is the only place on Wawa Lake where larger boats can be launched easily. This is a real asset for attracting fishermen to our unique spot of fishing so close to tow —-good fishing! Keeping this launch in working order would be an economic asset to our community and would be another reason for people to spend time in Wawa. We must encourage its use. With all the new instruments available for locating fish, it is much easier to catch them now in Wawa Lake. This is another opportunity to attract and hold newcomers in this area.

  3. I know the PEOPLE of WAWA will get together on this project…donate man hours, machinery, what- ever it takes to restore and reuse this park.

    William Teddy was the highlight of kids growing up in Wawa, picnics, swimming, fishing, just everything kids in Wawa need!

    The Rotary Club did a tremendous job of maintaining the park,when we were growing up….now I am sure between the service groups , the residents and the Township of Wawa, this can be joined together and done! ..William Teddy is worth restoring not abandoning. Our youth need this park, as do our seniors for a place to take their grandkids and enjoy what the park has, NATURAL BEAUTY AND SERENITY.