Since the late 1800’s the pond at the west end of Summerside (known as the Summerside Ice Pond) has provided recreational opportunities, a place to fish, a home for wildlife, and a visual refuge for urban dwellers looking for relief from crowded city streets. Once the base of a thriving commercial industry: Ice harvesting took place in the 1890’s when Ice pond was considered the best source in Prince County for pure ice.
In 2016 BBEMA, in partnership with the Summerside and the Federal Dept. Fisheries and Oceans, undertook an extensive project to restore 125-year-old pond site for both wildlife and community members. Summer 2019 saw the completion of this extensive three-year restoration project – the old dam was removed, and the pond was excavated to the original pond basin (12 ft depth). A concrete fishway and ladder was installed to allow for fish passage and migration to the ocean and a walking bridge. Since completion of the project, BBEMA has been gifted ownership of the pond itself and surrounding 1.7 acre of adjacent land from Amalgamated Dairies Ltd. for the purpose of conserving/protecting it for the residents of Summerside as a natural area. The newly restored pond and surrounding green space offers many new recreational, cultural and environmental education opportunities to be developed in the Summerside community: including; hiking, fishing, canoeing, swimming, bird watching, skating and cross-country skiing. Our organization is currently looking to develop the site into a natural park and recreation space for the residents of Summerside.
This park will highlight environmentally friendly practices, provide walking paths and other outdoor recreational opportunities, seating areas, educational signage, accessible fishing platforms, ecological friendly landscape and a park designed for people and wildlife. Included in this space will be native plant, community, edible and pollinator gardens.