(WINDSOR, ON) – The city of Windsor has closed off access to Black Oak Heritage Park to, “ensure the safety of residents and the natural environment” according to a press release. The municipality has fenced off the park to prevent access to the property.
Signage has been erected announcing that the park is, “closed to the public.” The city says that since closing Broadway Street, the main access road to the park, visitors to Black Oak have improperly used the area which has, “resulted in damage to species and habitat.”
On December 3, hundreds of mountain bikers and other nature enthusiasts protested the closure of the park. At the heart of the “improper use” has been the presence of the bike riders. They are now being advised to use Ojibway Park and Tallgrass Heritage Park. The city also suggests that people walking dogs should use Optimist or Remington parks.
The fencing is expected to remain in place until, “early 2018”, but the city doesn’t say how any damaged flora will be rejuvenated over the winter.
The closure of Black Oaks comes swiftly on the heels of the city bulldozing bike paths, known as the Dirt Church, in the bush behind the Ganatchio Trail. The wreckage left after the heavy machinery was done included exposed culverts and pipes, according to the CBC.