Greening begins in downtown Barry’s Bay

BARRY’S BAY – A small addition to the corner of Highway 62 and Highway 60 is paying tribute to the area’s logging and farming history and the local landscape.
On May 17, local dignitaries joined the Greening Main Street Committee to unveil a small sitting area outside of Mad Outdoors. 
Claudia Van Wijk is spearheading the local initiative and said she was delighted that the park incorporates the three main themes, including timber, stones and greenery. 
“When you drive into town, you go through rolling hills, stone fences hand picked for generations, lots of trees and wilderness and green and big timber,” she said. “But when you arrive in Barry’s Bay, it’s all gone. It’s a concrete jungle.”
Van Wijk is the owner of Madawaska Kanu Centre and when the business celebrated 40 years, she wanted to give back to the community.
She listened to the concerns of downtown business owners and many of them said business was on a steady decline. Van Wijk was inspired at that time to start the greening main street initiative. 
“When you revitalize from the centre out, it helps everybody,” she said.
On Saturday, the committee unveiled the new benches, including one honouring Paul and Doreen Yakabuski, who owned the location before selling it to the Zurakowskis. 

Get your May 21, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read this full story.