The Campbell River neighbourhood of Campbellton has a unique history shaped by industry, but its representatives are now looking to build a new future for it. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror.

The Campbell River neighbourhood of Campbellton has a unique history shaped by industry, but its representatives are now looking to build a new future for it. Photo by Sean Feagan / Campbell River Mirror.

Community input sought to help shape Campbellton

Residents are being invited to share their vision for the neighbourhood at Oct. 1 planning forum

Residents and stakeholders have a chance to weigh in on the future of Campbellton with an upcoming planning event directed by geography students from Vancouver Island University.

On Oct. 1, the Campbell Neighbourhood Association (CNA) is holding a Community Action Plan open forum, from noon to 2 p.m, outside Nesbitt’s Island Coffee. This community engagement session will help update the 2014 Campbellton Action Plan, an effort to create positive change in the neighbourhood one project at a time.

“We’ve decided to give community members a voice and have them engaged,” said Laurel Cronk, CNA board vice chair.

The Vancouver Island University (VIU) students will ask participants what projects or initiatives CNA should prioritize. They will be asked to consider three to five guiding principles, including, but not limited to: beautification; equity, diversity and inclusion; safety and security; environmental sustainability; and economic development.

“The thing about the CNA is we are very project oriented, rather than complaint driven,” said Cronk. “Having these VIU students help us develop our plans, it keeps us moving forward.”

The 2014 Action Plan focuses on a list of actions each with a certain objective in mind. Some of the proposed actions target improving pedestrian mobility and connectivity throughout the area, for example. These include installing curb letdowns at crosswalks to enhance accessibility, installing wayfaring signs to improve navigation, and widening sidewalks to improve safety and enjoyment.

CNA again worked with VIU students in 2019, to develop Campbellton Beautification Initiatives. An outcome of this effort was the development of a ‘parkette’ at the end of Spruce Street, next to the river.

“It used to be all brush and blackberries, but now you can actually go around and there is a beautiful little viewing platform and a bench,” she said.

Having the community involved will ensure the community has the strongest role in shaping the new action plan, according to CNA. It will create a range of options varying in cost that can be implemented by residents, business owners, levels of government, or other agencies.

One of the main goals of the organization is traffic calming and beautification around the Island Highway corridor through the neighbourhood, said Cronk.

“The main street of Campbellton is a highway, and it’s busy and it’s unsafe,” she said. “So we want to slow it down, either with lights or a roundabout, and add trees potentially down the middle just to make it feel like a community that businesses want to invest in.”

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