On the way to the Earth Day Rally in the UNB Woodlot. Photo: Charles LeBlanc.
Kelly and Alex speak at Earth Day Rally in the UNB Woodlot. Photo: Charles LeBlanc.
We love our Woodlot. Earth Day 2007 in UNB Woodlot. Photo: Charles LeBlanc.
Fredericton Earth Day event focused on fate of UNB woodlot
Last Updated: Monday, April 23, 2007
Concerned Fredericton residents gathered at Corbett’s Marsh on Earth Day Sunday to express their distress over potential development on the University of New Brunswick woodlot.
The area has been preserved for decades, but UNB has plans to commercially develop half of the woodlot’s 1,400 hectares. A Home Depot store is on a former piece of the woodlot, with more businesses possibly on the way.
About 80 people, along with around 20 dogs, gathered at the woodlot to walk and reminisce about how much they like the property.
“My dogs love it here. I’m bound to meet other people and have a nice chat,” said Kathryn Downton. “I think this place brings out the best in us, and malls and developments bring out the worst in us.”
Carolyn Lubbe-D’Arcy is worried that dirty water and oil are trickling into a nearby marsh from Home Depot’s parking lot.
“I can’t see how this will be able to sustain. Like, this is already bad, but if there’s any more of this, that’s going to be history,” Lubbe-D’Arcy said, referring to the land. “You know it will just be a dead pond with nothing in it.”
UNB president John McLaughlin was at the rally to listen to people’s concerns.
“I really wasn’t wanting to come and give a position,” McLaughlin said. “I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear what the issues are and what students and folks from the community and others are thinking about. And I heard a lot of passion and I heard a lot of important questions.
“There’s no question that we won’t be developing further out, even on the lands that are set aside for development, without a lot more consultation, a lot more addressing the issues.”
UNB officials are holding a public presentation about their plans Wednesday at the head office of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick in Fredericton.