By Gordon Lambie
A community meeting recently took place at Lennoxville’s Viewpoint Park to address concerns that have been expressed on a number of subjects related to the park and surrounding area. The gathering, which included a few local residents as well as representatives of the police, the borough council, city employees, and the Eastern Townships School Board, touched on matters such as the access of students from Alexander Galt Regional High School and the Lennoxville Vocational Training Centre to the wooded area between their campus and the park, plans to build a multifunctional park that would formalise that connection, and the rules regarding smoking in the sector.
The meeting was chaired by Lennoxville Borough Director, André Blais, who began by calling on participants to identify themselves and any hopes they might have for the future of the park. He then proceeded to clarify the rules regarding smoking, noting that different and sometimes conflicting information had been shared over the course of several recent borough council meetings. The borough director said that the definitive answer is that smoking is not allowed in the park’s play areas or within a nine-metre perimeter of their edges. Outside of that, he said, the city’s bylaws do not restrict smoking.
“It is important that we have a common understanding on this,” Blais said, pointing out that it is easy to get confused by individual interpretations of the regulation. He also explained that the rule is one defined by the city council that applies to all parks, and not just this one case.
Following that clarification, the conversation turned to the plan to build a path from the main park space through the woods to connect to the area of the school campus where an access point has already been built.
Eric Campbell, The Eastern Townships School Board’s Secretary General, pointed out that the project to build a path of some kind has been ongoing for close to a decade at this point based on the idea of opening up an otherwise isolated campus. Campbell did not hide from the fact that some students are passing through the gate and smoking, but he said that there are a number of projects in place to try to encourage healthy living and good citizenship.