Plans for site progress as Cappy Yates Park cleaned up

NANAIMO – Community groups continue to work to revitalize the derelict site in the Old City Quarter.

Weed-infested Cappy Yates Park was cleared out Saturday as a number of community groups continue to work to revitalize the derelict site.

With the bramble and drug paraphernalia removed, Lynne Henshaw, Old City Quarter/Downtown Business Improvement Association marketing events coordinator, said the next step is to develop a plan for the site.

“There are some architects that are actually going to be coming up with a plan and once they see the lay of the land, like what’s underneath, then they’re going to have a better sense of what we’re working with and what we’re dealing with and that sort of thing,” Henshaw said.

The Old City Quarter Association, in conjunction with the Young Professionals of Nanaimo and the downtown business association, envision the Fitzwilliam Street-area park as a public space for picnics and possibly concerts, and while nothing has been established yet, it is likely a stage will be built, according to Eric McLean, Old City Quarter Association president.

“We probably want some kind of small stage and then we need to figure out power, probably a generator, but that’s down the road a bit,” McLean said.

The park has a history of periods of use followed by periods of inattention. A maintenance plan will be done to prevent the park from once again being overrun by weeds.

“[Young Professionals of Nanaimo] are in discussions with a couple of other organizations to see what we can do to come up with a plan for continuing organization for the cleanup and maintenance because it really is one of the biggest things we’re going to have,” said Adam Hawryluk, young professionals’ president.

He said his group is talking to the Nanaimo Youth Services Association and also with the John Howard Society.