METCALFE GEOHERITAGE PARK
Canada’s 1st Municipal Geoheritage Park
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Metcalfe Geoheritage Park is located beside the Mississippi River in Almonte, Ontario – near the Mississippi River Power Corporation hydro-electric plant at the west end of Mill Street. The 22 specimens on display are sedimentary rocks of Ordovician age from our area, about 500 to 450 million years old, as well as both igneous and metamorphic rocks of Precambrian age that the last glacier dropped off, from about 2.5 billion to about 1 billion years old.
A visit to the Park will take you on a journey far back in time to recurring episodes of towering mountains, colliding continents, changing ocean depths, and landscapes locked in ice.
HISTORY OF THE PARK
The creation of a geological display at Metcalfe Park, located at the bottom of Bay Hill in Almonte, Ontario, was first proposed in 2004 as the Almonte Geoheritage Project. The park is named in honour of Dr. Archibald Metcalfe (1869-1962), local physician for 63 years, town councilor and Mayor (at least 7 terms), and the driving force to establish the Almonte hydro electric generating station.
Dr. J. Allan Donaldson, Professor Emeritus, Carleton University, and founder of Friends of Canadian Geoheritage, first spoke on the topic of geoheritage as part of the Almonte Lectures series. Through subsequent efforts of Dr. Donaldson and community volunteers, with support of Municipal Councilors, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists, the Mississippi Mills Chamber of Commerce, and relatives of Dr. Metcalfe, the Council of Mississippi Mills unanimously approved the proposal in 2008.
The realization of this showcase community project was coordinated from 2004 – 2016 with the participation of community volunteers, and town staff, as members of the initial Almonte Geoheritage Project, and later as the Almonte Geoheritage Committee and the Metcalfe Geoheritage Park Committee. Members have included: Frank Anderson, Julie Argue, Pat Browne, Neil Carleton, Ben Cleland, Allan Donaldson, Reiner Hollbach, Trish Larkin, Calvin Murphy, Scott Newton, Don Wiles.