We would like to acknowledge Mr. Simkus for his dedicated efforts in safeguarding his home and neighbourhood against the recurring threat of high waters.
Over the past decades, he has demonstrated a commendable commitment to achieving adequate protection for the community. The parkette restorations he has advocated for serve an important purpose.
However, it is crucial to remember that this parkette is public property, intended for the enjoyment of all townsfolk and visitors, and it can serve multiple purposes.
Prior to the installation of rock reinforcements at Balls Beach, citizens were invited to provide input on its design. Attending as avid kayakers, we were assured that we would have access to the water at Balls Beach for launching our kayaks.
I find it rather perplexing that Mr. Simkus suggests the parkette should be a passive space, expressing concerns people might expect a beach with full-fledged park facilities akin to Malibu.
In reality, all we seek is a relatively calm area where we can launch our kayaks without risking injury.
Not too long ago, the town placed a sign directing visitors to a kayak and canoe launch at the beach. When Mr. Simkus rightfully pointed out the absence of an actual boat launch or any expected amenities, Rome D’Angelo, then the newly-hired director of operations, had the sign removed.
Kayakers and canoeists do not require a formal boat launch or extensive amenities. We simply need a convenient entry into the water from the shore.
While we do not necessarily require picnic tables, having benches available for spectators who wish to watch and support our activities would be greatly appreciated.
It is regrettable to hear that the grass at the parkette is not growing as expected. We hope that the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake fulfills its promise to water it properly.
In conclusion, we urge all stakeholders to recognize the inclusive nature of the parkette and to ensure that residents who enjoy water activities, such as kayaking and canoeing, have reasonable access to the water at Balls Beach.
By accommodating these needs, we can foster a greater sense of community and provide recreational opportunities for all.
Furthermore, we feel it is important to preserve the historical name of one of the few water access points in town, and continue referring to it as Balls Beach, as it has been known for many years.
Sincerely, NOTL kayakers:
Mary Ann Enns
Anne Frost Robinson