A group of volunteers is trying to keep nearly 100 acres behind the Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital as clean, public green space.
Winston Loh, Dan Morrison and Joanne Valley all began cleaning up the area behind the LPH about a year ago. They organized a cleanup event last year that had about 25 people participate.
The volunteers cleaned up various trash, discarded bottles and gifts from the local pet population.
The trio hopes to keep the space near Boulevard Lake untouched, but there’s a plan to turn the clearing into residential space once the LPH closes its doors for good.
The decision to move ahead with any development will ultimately fall onto the province.
Loh said they hope to convince the province to keep it as green space.
“As we’ve seen in the last couple of years there does seem to be a shortage in housing and we know city planners are trying for more dense and urban intensification,” he said.
“We’re in an agreement with that. We’d really like to see an intensification of the urban fabric in this neighbourhood but we would like to see that before coming into a green space and cutting down trees in order to build houses on it.”
Loh is also seeking help from the city in order to change the zoning. Although Thunder Bay has a lot of green space, Loh argues that the city only owns a few that are near homes.
He believes the area behind the LPH is used more compared to other green spaces such as Centennial Park.
“It is in walking distance for people,” he said. “People can come out here and walk their dog after work. In other areas it isn’t as easy to do that.”
The group plans host another clean up event on Saturday at 10 a.m.
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