Pavilion near complete in Green Hill Park

IMG 4748

A provincial park in Green Hill is getting a new building thanks to community support.

Friends of the Green Hill Park Society is finishing the construction of a pavilion in the provincial park that can be used for public events, family gatherings, or even just shelter on a wet or warm day.

“It is a meeting place that will draw people here,” said Society Treasurer Don Jeffery.

The Green Hill Provincial Park is a popular place for people looking for a good view of Pictou County, especially during the fall when the leaves begin to turn colours. However, he said, in the last number of years, the province has done little to improve the park other than cut the grass.

About four years ago, community members came together to form the society in hopes of adding more features to the park and do some much-needed maintenance.

“Being neighbours to the park and having grown up in this area, we love the park,” said Jeffery. “We decided to get a group together, get the support of the Department of Lands and Forestry and for the last year and a half we have been waiting for the minister to approve our park management plan.”

Once this was done, construction of the pavilion was set to begin in the Spring of 2020 with the laying of a concrete pad, but shortly after this was completed, COVID-19 restrictions were put in place and the project ran into delays.

Work continued on the pavilion this fall with the purchase of products from the local company, Dave’s Lumber. The four corners of the building will be boarded in, but the sides will remain open for easy access to the structure.

“I find the hardest thing for me is that we are a small group and people will drive into here and don’t see anything going on,” he said. “We are serious about what we are doing and this building makes a statement.”

Once it is complete, the society plans to focus on landscaping around the pavilion and creating some seating near it. It would eventually like to see power hooked up to the building and possibly have a utility shed build, however, its first priority in the spring will be to fix the roadway into the park.

The pavilion will cost about $30,000 and additional funds will be raised for maintenance and future projects. The Municipality of Pictou County has awarded financial grants to assist the society which has also set up a Go Fund Me page.

Jeffery said he has received donations from across North America from people who have fond memories of the park.

“This place is known for the view and it is already a natural draw without having to put anything here,” said Municipality of Pictou County Warden Robert Parker, who is not a member of the society but has supported the group’s work as the area councillor.

Years ago, the park had a canteen, dance hall and wooden view tower, he said.

“If you step back in history to the 1940s, it was an active place. In some ways, the committee wants to recreate this activity, but in a natural way. They aren’t looking for commercial businesses, but for people to come here for natural reasons. This is a perfect gathering space.”

Jeffery added that the Cape to Cape trail system is also connected to the park which surprises many people who come to the site. He said the new pavilion will have a sign in it outlining the trail so people can access it why they visit the area.

Anyone wanting to support The Friends of the Green Hill Society can do so at https://ca.gofundme.com/f/friends-of-green-hill-park 

Photo: Don Jeffery, left, and MOPC Warden, stand near the pavilion being built at Green Hill Provincial Park by The Friends of the Green Hill Park Society. Jeffery is the society treasurer and other board members include John McLean, Nancy Levo and Tom Miller. Warden Parker is not a member of the society but supports the project as the area councillor.