Windsor West MP Brian Masse near Walker Commons, Windsor, August 15, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Park designation sought for Ojibway Shores

A local Member of Parliament wants to see an area of west Windsor land turned into a national urban park.

Windsor West MP Brian Masse is behind the effort in Ottawa to get that designation for the Ojibway Shores area. During a media conference Thursday morning at Walker Commons in south Windsor, Masse announced the details of an upcoming town hall meeting to discuss the matter.

A national urban park is defined as a protected area within a city or urban area. Only one area in the country so far, Toronto’s Rouge National Urban Park, is classified as such. Masse said he is hopeful to bring several different sections of that area under the designation.

“When we talk about the Spring Garden area, we talk about Black Oak Heritage Park area, or the Ojibway Prairie Complex, we’re looking at almost 900 acres of environmental treasures that we can link together for our future,” he said.

The land is currently owned by the federal government, but it is operated by Port Windsor. Masse said they have been working with the city, port authority and others with interest in the land. He said the area has come a long way in the past 15 to 20 years, back to the time when he was still on Windsor City Council.

“When I was fighting for Ojibway Shores, I was told by the port authority at the time that it was scrub, bush, and junk,” said Masse. “We know it’s not. We know it has approximately a hundred endangered species on that property and it links all the way together.”

Scheduled to appear at the town hall meeting are Dr. John Hartig, a professor at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER) at the University of Windsor, members of the Caldwell First Nation, the Friends of the Rouge Watershed, and the Wildlands League.

The town hall meeting will take place at the Capri Pizzeria Recreational Complex in south Windsor on Tuesday, August 27.