Long vacant, but still an impressive structure, the former Eatonville Visitor Information Centre building is about to get a new lease on life. After first visiting this building in the fall of 2020, Cliffs of Fundy Geopark staff and volunteers were captivated by the opportunities presented by this amazing building. Rising a story and a half out of the forest, equipped with solar panels, a rainwater collection system, a woodstove and fully accessible features, the building was built to standards ahead of its time. Once used by the Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association (CREDA), the Eatonville building has been vacant for many years, waiting to be “adopted” by the right user.
After considerable reflection and hosting a public focus group to gather input, the Cliffs of Fundy Geopark developed a Business Case to undertake this project. Participants were excited about the potential uses for the building including geotourism, interpretive tours of the geosites in the area with fabulous sea stacks and a raised beach, yoga retreats, artists’ weekends, migratory bird research, school tours and a variety of workshops to name just a few.
The Cliffs of Fundy Geopark is supported by the Government of Canada’s Healthy Communities Initiative. Funds received from this program will see the Geopark through Phase 1 of the necessary repairs. Dr. Stephen Ellis, MLA for Cumberland-Colchester remarked “The continued development of the Cliffs of Fundy Geopark represents a unique opportunity to showcase the natural beauty and history of our local area as we begin to welcome visitors back to Nova Scotia. Continued support from the Federal government and individual investors will be essential to bring this project to its full potential.”
Phase 1 will see the new wood siding put in place, and the Geopark is excited to see this development. Other repairs for which we are still seeking funding include replacement doors and repairs to floor joists.
Community partnerships play a huge role in the operation of the Cliffs of Fundy Geopark, and we anticipate developing many new collaborations once the Eatonville building is ready for occupancy. Tory Rushton, MLA for Cumberland South and the Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables has commented “The Eatonville Centre is a wonderful addition to the Cliffs of Fundy Geopark. This beautiful piece of nature in our province is enjoyed by locals as well as many visitors that travel to Nova Scotia. I would like to thank everyone involved for making this possible. “
Anyone interested in more information or wanting to contribute to this project, can contact our Executive Director, Beth Peterkin, at [email protected]. The Cliffs of Fundy UNESCO Global Geopark has a full slate of activities planned for the upcoming season and details are posted on our website fundygeopark.ca as they are confirmed. We hope to see you out and about in the Geopark.
~ Contributed by The Cliffs of Fundy GeoPark