New gatehouse/visitor centre for Springwater

·2 min read

Catfish Creek Conservation Authority is replacing the aging gatehouse/visitor centre at Springwater Conservation Area and the work is expected to be done in time for the 2021 camping season.

The total cost for the project is estimated at $80,000.

“The visitor centre is imperative for us to keep providing access and safe conditions, as we have been working with old technology and infrastructure too long,” said CCCA Community Outreach Technician Emily Febrey.

The current gatehouse was built in 1986 and is reportedly nearing the end of its useful life.

“The electricity stopped working for certain parts, our security system was outdated and our gates would malfunction on too many occasions during our summer season,” said Ms. Febrey.

The building is not modern or aesthetically pleasing anymore, she added, and not efficient for visitors to find information about CCCA or other parks if the office was closed.

A fundraising campaign to help pay for the building is underway, with a goal of $20,000. Several local businesses and community members have already donated so far, said Ms. Febrey.

In addition to fundraising, CCCA is also looking into grants to pay for the project. If fundraising and grants fall short, the project will move forward with money from reserves.

Stratford-based Langs Contacting is the general contractor selected to oversee the project.

The new structure will look similar to the old gatehouse: a brick building in the driveway to Springwater Campground, but longer to accommodate cars driving up to the window to check in or show their passes.

There is a planned foyer area in the new structure for visitors to come in for information about the park, the CCCA, other trails, the watershed and the community.

The CCCA hopes for construction to start in this fall, ideally in November, so that it will be finished by spring in time for the campground season opening.

“This fundraiser is an amazing package of supporting the CCCA, while investing in the conservation area and forest and curating an appreciation for nature all in one,” said Ms. Febrey.

Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express