Ever since I was little I was always told to look at the bright side of things, because the glass is always half full. Even if the world seems like it is ending, there is always something to hold onto.
The glass was half empty on Tuesday morning in 2005 for my hometown of Stephenville when tragedy struck as the rain filled rivers flooded the streets and houses of all low lying areas. 200 of the 8,000 residence’s were evacuated from their houses as a state of emergency was called. The devastation of this flood still remains in the hearts of the residence’s to this day; even I, being 5 years old, will always remember trying to cross the bridge to make it to school Tuesday morning but there being nothing but water. The following is the link to the CBC news story following this event.
The link below will direct you to photographs taken of the town during this devastating time.
In 2011, the Walk-A-Ways Parks and Trails Committee decided it was time the glass stopped being half empty and put some beauty back into our town. The flood zone, map inserted to the left, is known for such because it is where former residence’s were relocated from due to the flood of 2005. This committee has worked tirelessly to transform something full of devastation into something that can be appreciated by all of the people of Stephenville and any who come to visit.
It is now transformed into Blanche Brook Park, filled with walking trails, fossils, a garden and the river that flows alongside the park. This is a place where people can come to learn about the heritage of the 2005 tragedy and also appreciate that bad things can become beautiful with a little bit of work.
For the obvious reason, this is my favorite place to be because it is incredibly beautiful. The garden is filled with many different types of flowers that explode with color, it is breath taking to be so visually appealing but also have an aroma so sweet. It is the perfect place to go for a walk with a friend, maybe your dog, even just somewhere to sit down to enjoy the scenery. It is literally a place to stop and smell the roses.
For the not so obvious reason, this is my favorite place for what it represents. This is a place that was destroyed by a natural disaster, people’s homes were taken away from them, a place they lived, made memories, and grew every day. Things they cannot get back, some material but some more abstract. This was something that no one could control or prevent, which is why it took such a toll on the people of Stephenville.
Living in such a small town, everyone is affected or knows someone affected by such a tragedy; but it brings out the best in people. This place represents so much destruction but it is full of the most natural beauty you can find. It is a place given by members of the community for members of the community. It is a place that was associated with grief but now it is turned into something beautiful. I admire the people who made this place a reality, they had the mind set that the glass is always half full, there is always a bright side to any circumstance, it is truly inspiring. To walk through this park and think about all the hard work put into this place just to bring some joy to members of my community will forever be another reason why I love representing this community so much.
I fell in love with this place on evening walks with my mom, it was hard not too. Now it will always be place for a walk, somewhere to spend time with someone else, but mostly somewhere to think. No matter what is happening in your life, the best thing you can do is get some perspective; to take five minutes out of your day to walk through or sit in this park and realize the things in your life you have to be grateful for.
Blanche Brook Park will always be my favorite place in my community, it is a place of beauty of all sorts and it is a place everyone needs to experience!!!!!!!
Thank you to every incredible person that made this place a reality!!!!!
Love Jess xoxo