From left, Mayor Marvin Junkin, Steve Bauer's father, Hank, and Bauer's wife, Josee Larocque. DON RICKERS

Support for Steve Bauer Trail underscored

The tenth anniversary of National Tree Day in Canada was officially celebrated on September 22, but locally, poor weather postponed the Pelham Tree Conservation Society’s observance of the event for a week, until last Friday.

Society supporters took part in a late-afternoon walk from the Merritt Road entry of the Steve Bauer Trail to the Peace Park bandshell at Town Hall. Mayor Marvin Junkin was presented with a green Steve Bauer Trail T-shirt, autographed by Bauer himself. Junkin told the 60 attendees that he will ask that the T-shirt be placed in the Meridian Community Centre for public viewing next to the Marlene Stewart Streit Display.

Tree Society organizer Mike Jones told the crowd that the Steve Bauer Trail “gives you that small-town feeling in a big town network. I believe the tree canopy in our town has been shrinking quite a bit in the last few years, due to a lot of new developments. I’m not against development, but I believe it’s more important that the developers work with us to save trees where possible, and replace trees that have been removed.”

Ward 1 Councillor Wayne Olson, a vocal supporter of the Pelham Tree Conservation Society and the Steve Bauer Trail, praised the society’s “support for development of green infrastructure, and honoring our natural assets in the town.”

Mayor Junkin encouraged activism related to local environmental preservation, and reminded those in attendance that “a transparent government encourages public support and public participation. This is the level of government that listens to you—with the province and the feds, you’re just a little pebble in the ocean. But at this level, you can make a difference.”

Junkin told the crowd that the controversial issue of a vehicle crossing on the Trail will likely end up going to court, with the Town opposing the developer’s site plan.

“Council passed a bylaw not to allow the developer to proceed with the proposed trail crossings,” said Junkin, while also acknowledging Kunda Park developer/Sterling Realty president John DeLisio as “a great developer in this town,” who intends to plant 4500 trees as part of the subdivision landscaping. Junkin conceded that “compromises” on both sides will likely have to be made, but added, “from our perspective, the fewer the better.”

Steve Bauer’s wife, Josee Larocque, apologized for her husband’s absence from the event, explaining that he was currently in Europe with the Canadian national cycling team, attending the world cycling championships in Belgium.