Sunday, April 21, 2024

Rising tide lifts all boats: GWDS begins fundraising campaign

Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

  • March 15 2023

GUYSBOROUGH – The Guysborough Waterfront Development Society (GWDS) has some big plans for this summer. To begin with, renovations at the marina and Jost building to perk up the curb appeal of the waterfront – finishing up with major repairs to the wharf and floating docks. But, work costs money and that’s where community members, local business and anyone who loves Guysborough comes into the story – the GWDS has started a fundraising campaign to pay for these much-needed renovations and repairs.

GWDS Chair Paul Long spoke to The Journal last week about plans and the funding needed to make them bear fruit.

Funding has already been secured through federal (ACOA) and provincial grants, but not enough to cover the estimated price tag for the waterfront revitalization, which Long says stands at approximately $150,000 for the land side – replacing windows and doors in both buildings, making washrooms more accessible and aesthetic upgrades – and anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 on the waterside.

“Once we get to the waterside that’s where things get expensive,” says Long, adding, “The whole face of the wharf needs to be redone…its eroding away and there is some fallout underneath the wharf…it’s a pretty major job to get done.”

Long says they’re also planning to upgrade the floating docks “to prepare for some larger vessels like we had in before. We’re hopeful that we’re going to get on the route for some of these super yachts.”

The ask of the community is no small amount, $200,000, but Long says, “That will be done through approaching area businesses, people that are associated with the village of Guysborough, to try and gather support that way. We’ve had a lot of positive interaction with people to date, so we are hopeful that it is not an unrealistic goal to try to do that.”

If one of their first donations is any indication, the road to reaching the fundraising goal may not be too onerous. The GWDS was pleased to announce in the recent Municipality of the District of Guysborough bi-monthly newsletter that summer residents from Louisiana, Jacques and Claire Creppel, have already donated $10,000 to the cause.

“That’s a very positive start for us and we are really hoping we can draw on people and businesses in the area; that people who know people may find ways to support it,” says Long.

And, why is supporting the Guysborough waterfront reinvigoration so important?

Long says, “I think the waterfront will be the centre of the tourism world in the village of Guysborough. In the summertime, it is the gathering place. It’s going to look a lot better down there as soon as you walk in this year with the upgrades; seating, sun sales, both kiosks [small business sales booths]; and, we’re hoping to continue with some concerts. We’ll have it as a warm and inviting place for tourists.”

Donations to the GWDS fundraising campaign will be ranked based on three-tiers of support: rising tide $1-$4,999; high tide $5,000-$9,999; and tidal wave $10,000 and over.

For more information about GWDS and its fundraising campaign, visit the Guysborough Waterfront Facebook Page.