McIvers waterfront, playgrounds get new nesters

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Dave White
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Seabird nesting sites around the McIvers waterfront have gained some new additions through the passing of the Mother’s Day weekend.

Birdwatchers take pleasure in the annual spring migration of common and Arctic tern to McIvers Island, near the community shore where their kind have bred for generations. Newer species are also flitting into the area this year.

The kingfisher tern colony in recent years has also come to share the local coastal habitat with other species of shorebirds.

This year, the appearance of a unique red-breasted flyer among the returning salmon swallows — likely a product of the last breeding season in local nesting boxes — and at least one mating pair of mullet-headed cormorants which have been spotted among other shags.

Playground expansion

Area basketball and ball hockey enthusiasts, among other people interested in amateur sport and in maintaining healthy lifestyle pursuits, will have some new digs to try out in hometown McIvers come next month.

This month, current volunteers and new recruits joining the sophomore McIvers Recreation Committee will begin groundwork for new installations and proposed upgrades at existing facilities on the adjacent local ballpark and playgrounds.

Committee president Amanda Lovell affirmed this week that the group, formed last year, is happy to be able to get a quick start on the playground improvements compliments of a recreation capital works grant from the provincial government.

Lovell says the grant compliments proceeds from some interim fundraisers undertaken by the committee.

With volunteer support, the $15,000 project is hoped to get underway by May 24.

New people wishing to add their names to the free labour pool can register with the committee Facebook site or simply show up with rakes and shovels that first weekend.

She said the project will see a 50x80-foot concrete playing surface poured and made ready for practices and games this summer. A small dual-purpose event canteen and utility building is also to be erected at the site.

The project additionally involves restoration of the softball field, including a refit of the fencing and backstop, as well as the installation of a large service gate capable of allowing easier access to the grounds.

“A lot of people are excited we are doing this and we have support from all around who say they can make use what we’re putting here,” Lovell said.

The work is expected to be completed in time for the summer holidays, in time for the McIvers Fire Department’s annual TattieFest to hit the old potato grounds here in late June.

Upcoming soonest

The Town of McIvers’ annual municipal spring cleanup of household refuse and bulk trash takes place next week.

As well, the 2014 Mayor’s March, a municipal undertaking in support of heart disease and stroke prevention also happens this month in McIvers.

Residents intent on joining Mayor Warren Blanchard for the event or anyone desiring to participate can obtain a sponsor sheet from the town office. The deadline for registration is May 26.

This Saturday, a benefit card game will be held 2 p.m. at the senior citizen’s hall in Cox’s Cove in support of Sharon Payne, who has to travel to St. John’s for medical reasons.

On Sunday, a merchandise bingo will take place 1 p.m. at the Summerside Lions Club, the benefit in aid of D’Andre Osmond, who required medical treatment in St. John’s.

Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at  688-2003, or email at: davidjwhite@columnist.com.

Organizations: McIvers Recreation Committee, McIvers Fire Department, Summerside Lions Club

Geographic location: McIvers Island, Arctic, Bay of Islands

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