Picnic gives residents a taste of country’s first elevated park opening soon

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About 270 people enjoyed the high life Sunday in St. Thomas while they lunched on a historic railway trestle overlooking Kettle Creek valley.

The picnic was a fundraiser for Canada’s first elevated park atop the Michigan Central Railroad Kettle Creek Bridge — a structure that stands out when driving into St. Thomas.

The lunch acted as a soft launch of the park that will partially open to the public in the fall.

Overlooking the valley and farms with horses, the park is 27 metres in the air and will include flower beds and local art.

Diane Pease of St. Thomas said she’s looking forward to bringing her grandchildren to the park.

“I think it’s such an original idea,” she said. “I know they’ll enjoy looking at the horses.”

Linda Alton, who was dining with Pease, said she thinks it would be a great place to picnic.

“It’s nice to make use of this space instead of just letting it go to ruin.”

Serge Lavoie, president of On Track St. Thomas — the group sponsoring the park — said it has plans to plant gardens and trees and aims to truly make it a space for the community.

Maggie Underhill and Frank Copland grew up in St. Thomas and often played on the old tracks, running across them and throwing discs off the side to see whose backyards they would land in.

“I never thought about putting a park here,” Underhill said. “I think it’ll be a nice place to bring your family for a walk or to hang out.”

Copland praised the effort of volunteers helping to create the park.

“It’s going to be amazing.”



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