The Lion's Park on Station Street in Belleville, Ontario is testament to how well nature and mankind can work together to create a place of halcyon peace and beauty.
It encompasses part of the Riverfront Trail and a visit there will stimulate so many of your senses, you'll want to visit again and again.
The park has a different and more lush feel this year
than last, due to the immense amount of rain we've been experiencing this summer.
This year, unlike last, the river is rushing rapidly downstream.
Last year many sections were completely dry.
To see the difference between last year and this, make sure and view the pictures at the bottom of this post which show the same view of the Moira River taken in August '07 and August '08.
Poet Hannah Moore once wrote "all the peace which springs, from the large aggregate of little things" and nothing is a more fitting description of Belleville's beautiful Lion's Park which rests serenely on the shores of the Moira River in Belleville.
The park was built by the Lion's Club of Belleville as a part of the beautification of the Moira River Riverfront Trail that meanders through Belleville.
There are quiet benches hidden in peaceful corners amongst the gardens where a visitor may take in the surrounding beauty while listening to the sounds of the river as it makes it's way towards the Bay of Quinte.
A beautiful pergola is the centrepiece of the park.
Vibrant gardens surrounding it lend privacy and a peaceful feeling to those who stop to rest on one of the strategically placed benches to be found within the courtyard.
Built into the banks of the old Moira River, the site lends itself to beautiful, terraced, limestone rock gardens and many levels.
Wayne Wallans memorial at Belleville Lion's Park.
The pedestrian bridge connects the south and north sides of the Moira River and is well used by bikers, rollerbladers, walkers and runners.
Fishermen/women also love to try their hand at fishing from the bridge.
The gardens and walkways overflow with a myriad of flowers and beautiful trees to delight your senses.
An Ontario native wildflower, Purple Coneflower (Echinacea), is widely known for it's medicinal uses in boosting the immune system.
Colourful Daylillies, one of my favourite perennials for northern gardening, may be found sprinkled here and there amongst the walkway gardens.
A lone Red Hot Poker (Torch Lily) catches the eye in all it's glory.
Stately White Coneflowers lend their unique beauty to the cacaphony of riotous colour.
Pink Hydrangeas quietly ask you to pause for awhile.
Friends take respite from the day on sun-baked limestone in the Moira River.
A waterfront park would not be complete without a gull standing watch over all the comings and goings.
The inner courtyard of the Lion's Park pergola. Pinnacle Street Bridge over the Moira River in the distance.
The Moira River is once again mighty with the abundant rains we've been experiencing this summer. Compare this photo, taken recently (August '08) with the one below taken the same time last year when we were in a drought situation.
The Moira River in August 2007. A lack of rain saw the river almost completely dry up. Quite a difference from the extensive rainfall we've been experiencing in 2008.
The Lion's Park in Belleville can be found by taking the Highway 62 south exit off the trans-Canada (Hwy 401) into Belleville. Travel south along Hwy 62, which is known as North Front Street where it runs through Belleville, and take a left onto Station Street after you go over the Moira River bridge. The Lion's Park can be seen just past Meyer's historic mill on your left.
Enjoy your visit!
Jo-Anne Smith, the author of this article, is a REALTOR® with Royal Lepage ProAlliance Realty, Brokerage, in Belleville, Ontario and welcomes your real estate inquiries. To contact her, visit www.QuinteRegionRealEstate.com