N.S. poses challenge to rename Sydney Tar Ponds site
Warning signs are posted on the fence surrounding the tar ponds in Sydney, N.S. on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2007. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
What’s in a name? Plenty, if you want a new image for what was once the country’s worst toxic waste site.
The site of the Sydney Tar Ponds will take on a new lease on life as a $17-million multi-use park in the heart of the city.
The remediation of the site is nearly complete, but it still needs a new name to go along with its new identity.
“It’s no longer the Tar Ponds. They are cleaned up, they are not there anymore. We want to get rid of that stigma and move toward the future,” says Meggan Desmond of the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency.
The site features an 80-acre park that will include sports fields, a skating rink, an outdoor theatre, a dog park, trails and more.
Today, the Nova Scotia government kicked off a four-week search for the park’s new name.
Only students can submit entries, on the premise that the park is part of their future.
“It is important we have the right name for the park, because this generation we saw here today and generations to come are going to be the ones involved in the park,” says NDP MLA Gordie Gosse.
Grade 3 student Jessica Borka says the name should reflect the site’s industrial history.
“I would like to name it Steel Park, because some off my family members used to work at the steel plant and I think it’s a cool name,” says Borka.
Sandra Dunn is treasurer of the local historical society. She also leans toward a name reflecting the site’s industrial past.
“What about the Steel Workers Memorial Park?” she asks.
A list of the most popular names will be put to an online vote and chosen in June.
The park’s official opening in September will be the final chapter of the $400-million dollar cleanup project.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Randy MacDonald