By Joe Barkovich, Scribbler-at-large
Welland’s association with the canal has given it three jewels: the canal-side amphitheatre and Illuminaqua; the International Flatwater Centre; and last but not least, Merritt Island.
The 4.2-km island is located in the city’s downtown, between the Welland Recreational Water (old Welland Canal) and Welland River. When I visited mid-Sunday morning, hundreds of people were already there. The playground was a magnet for young families. The trails attracted walkers, rollerbladers, cyclists and joggers among others.
Alone, I studied the sights – like wood carvings by a local artist, rustic benches, markers and of course trails at will. The trees were spectacular, the foliage lush and verdant, the trails inviting. I must have encountered 20 dogs on leashes in the 90 or so minutes I was there. I may have heard one dog bark, in all that time. Amazing. People made more noise.
There’s more to be said about the allure of this place but best to let the photos do the talking. The old maxim holds true here: A photo is worth a thousand words. Merritt Island is worth a thousand photos.
(A former reporter and editor, Joe Barkovich lives in his hometown of Welland, Ontario, Canada’s Rose City. Welland Snaps is a recurring feature on the blog, posting Mondays.)