Overgrown Centennial Park cordoned off after discovery of asbestos and other contaminants. (BlackburnNews.com photo by Jake Jeffrey)

Centennial Park Reopening Celebration Set For June 17

The first organized activity in Sarnia’s remediated Centennial Park is set for Saturday June 17.

Preparations are underway for a “Centennial Park Celebration and Everything Ontario/Canada” event from 11am until 7pm that day. Funding of up to $70,000 for the family friendly event, that will include a reopening ceremony, was received under the Ontario 150 Community Celebration Program.

Most of the popular waterfront park has been closed off the past four summers after the discovery of asbestos and other contaminants in May 2013.

Mayor Mike Bradley says returning the park to public use has been prolonged and costly.

“I think the entire community wants the park reopened, it’s been a very long journey, there has been a lot of money spent, over $11-million,” says Bradley. “At the end it’s a remediation project, it’s not a rejuvenation project, and I think there were some lost opportunities of things the community wanted in the park that aren’t there.”

Mayor Bradley says it’s a very different park now.

“There is concern about the use of the soil, the land, and how groups will be able to set up there,” he says. “But having the fences down and the grass cut is a huge step forward and hopefully in the future we can reinvest in the park.”