The Fetherston Mobile Park Association had a celebration last weekend. Finally, after years of effort, struggle, and incredible ups and downs, the Park can finally face the future with a brand new water and septic system that is world class, state of the art, and installed on the land they now own. Association President, Maurice Dumoulin was joined by Mayor David Gordon to unveil the new Park sign and logo, which symbolises a new beginning and an enormous victory for the residents.
Just three years ago, they were faced with an eviction notice from the Municipality, giving them just a few weeks to vacate the Park and lose all they had built and invested there. The journey from those stressful days to now has been one of courage, conflict, sometimes deep disagreements within the community itself over the direction they should take. But they have emerged largely in one piece, and can look on their accomplishment with genuine pride.
The residents were especially gracious in recognising some of those who shared the journey with them, including the media, Clearford Water Systems Inc., and even the municipal Council who once tried to evict them. (Though, to be fair, only two members of that Council remain and both were present at the celebration).
The Association now own a large tract of land in addition to the property where the homes are now sited, and this provides them with the option of slowly expanding the Park over time. It is hoped that extra sites can be made available for affordable housing units.
Clearford, through their involvement with Fetherston, have a working model of their Clearford One system which they are marketing all over the world; an appropriate result of their commitment to the Fetherston project over the past few years. All in all, this seems like a win-win situation for North Grenville. A long-term neighbourhood has been saved and developed, instead of being lost to the wider community. Council have prevented North Grenville becoming a byword for evictions, and the entire project has given hope and an example to similar parks across the province. Congratulations to all those involved in this good news story of endurance, hope and success.