Few communities offer local residents and visitors more inviting public green spaces than the Town of Saltcoats. From spring until fall, few days pass when there aren’t visitors, some with connection to the community and residents past or present but also many called to stop and check out Anderson Lake, the Leflay Trail and Regional Park, the Historic Cemetery, Gunn Park beside the War Memorial, and now Firefly Promontory and the nearby Gazebo that is part of the Barnhart Heritage Trail.
Located opposite Lakeside Manor Care Home, Firefly Promontory provides a spacious place to view Anderson Lake from the comfort of a line of colorful Adirondack chairs. Over many years this was a spot where summer fireflies provided a spectacular evening display in grasses and reeds growing near the the roomy promontory where anyone is welcome to park, stretch, reflect.
A newly constructed bridge across a drainage channel connects the Promontory to a grassy area and an attractive gazebo. The Gazebo offers some local history as plaques inside this sheltered space tell of the community’s desire to honour local citizen Gordon Barnhart who served as Saskatchewan’s 20th Lieutenant-Governor.
The Barnhart Heritage Trail stretches along much of the length of High Street parallel to the Canadian Pacific Railway. At Hill Street there is a large stone and a commemorative plaque celebrating the first settlers and the Immigration Hall that housed hundreds at a time as they prepared to move out to the homesteads they would claim. An attractive variety of trees thrive along this green space and gardens offer places to rest and reflect.
When the trail was being designated, Gordon Barnhart asked that
it would honour the three men representing the constituency of Saltcoats who served as speakers of the Territorial and then Provincial Legislature of Saskatchewan – namely William Eakin, Thomas MacNutt, and James Snedker. Appropriate plaques are located in the Gazebo. As well, a map placed in the Gazebo shows area school districts that played such an important role in community building and identification as well as assuring education accessible for all.
Saltcoats’ green areas, parks, gardens, planters and historic markers represent the cumulative efforts of successive Mayors and Councils, Town Office and Public Works staff, the Community Beautification Committee, and a wonderful collection of volunteers young and old and all ages in between. Financial donations from individuals and organizations, as memorials or as general support of green spaces, have been very important to the success of these projects.