Today, March 20, marks the end of one era and the beginning of another as the federal government officially signs over ownership of Open Hearth Park to the province. The park is located at the remediated Sydney Tar Ponds site.
“We have a chance to build a new history as we assume custodianship of Open Hearth Park,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “Thanks to the work of so many dedicated people, the next generation of area residents will only know the site as a place where they can enjoy the outdoors.”
The ceremonial transfer of the park already took place with federal and provincial ministers during the Stronger than Steel event in September 2013. The official transfer of responsibility for the park means the province, through Nova Scotia Lands Inc., will assume responsibility for all lands and operations involved in the project, including the long-term maintenance and monitoring of the remediated site.
Along with the official hand-off of ownership, the Sydney Tar Pond Agency office will close by the end of March. Plans are currently being made to sell or rent the building.
“The Sydney Tar Pond Agency office has a legacy all its own,” said Mr. MacLellan. “I want to thank and congratulate agency staff for the remarkable job they did to manage and implement the largest remediation project in Canadian history.”
Five agency staff members will remain until the end of March. Two of those will be retained by Nova Scotia Lands Inc. to complete closure of financial requirements. Other former staff contracts have already expired. Provincially seconded staff members were moved back to their previous jobs with the province.
For more facts and information about the Open Hearth Park, go to www.openhearthpark.ca .