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The first meeting of the Public Parks Board was held on Sep­ tember 14, 1897. Those present were Mayor Brown, T. A. Newman, Ceo. Murton, T. B. Millar, C. R. Carland and R. S. Thomson. These were the men who made the first move to change the Slough from an eyesore to a thing of beauty which, they hoped, would be "a joy forever".

Naturally, owners of Slough bottom hay-land property were hos­ tile to the idea of flooding their land, and much negotiating was done before some of them would agree to selling. Due to this, plans for the project didn't proceed very rapidly. However, it was deemed wise to build a bridge before flooding anyway, so the Board con­ tacted Mr. 1. H. Bossons to draw up plans for it. The main bridge to the Island in the early days, and still in use at the time these plans were prepared, was what was called the "mud bridge" which was located" at the West End. (The "mud bridge" was ordered removed by the Parks Board in 1914.)

In 1898 the new bridge was ready for use, but to make it more attractive other things had to be considered. For one thing, a de­ plorable garbage dump at one end of it! Thos. Kennedy, J as. Mitchell and Geo. Bourne disrupted the home life of many rats when they covered this with sand and planted willows there. For their work in aid of beautification, they were paid $28.20.

The willows flourished, as can be seen in the picture shown here. The location of this bridge has been given as «running from . the 3rd hole of the golf course on the Island to the mainland ".