Sod Turned on French Fort Cove Eco-Centre

Sod Turned on French Fort Cove Eco-Centre

LtoR – MLA Michael “Tanker” Malley, MP Charles Hubbard, Chairman Brian R. Jones, Mayor John McKay
“At first, dreams seem impossible, then improbable, and eventually inevitable.” — Christopher Reeve

During the official sod-turning ceremony on March 18th Brian Jones, the chair of French Fort Cove Eco-Centre Inc. and backbone behind the project, quoted the late Christopher Reeve to sum up the journey so far.

The Eco-Centre is an exciting project full of promise for the Miramichi. Open year-round, the landmark tourist attraction’s interactive displays will showcase Miramichi’s history and culture. Visitors will learn about the river, flora and fauna, heritage and historic events such as the Miramichi Fire.

John McKay presents certificate to Brian Jones marking “graduation” to next stage of project
Although the Eco-Centre will be a strong draw for tourists to the region, it was built for the people of Miramichi and remains true to its original intention. Not only will the displays help educate future generations of Miramichiers about their history and heritage but the building will also provide a new home for the local Curling Club.

“The park is utilised by thousands of local people each year. French Fort Cove was developed for the community. It is yours,” Jones said.

It was a building for the tractor that started this project back in 2001. On February 9th, 2005, Premier Bernard Lord announced an additional $500,000 toward the French Fort Cove Eco-Centre, which was the final piece necessary to complete Phase I or building.

Bill Barry, Curling Club

“Our strong volunteer base is an asset we should all be proud of,” said John McKay, Mayor of Miramichi, as he acknowledged the tremendous effort of volunteers who worked days, months and years to develop this great contribution to the community.

McKay added that although Miramichiers have had a difficult year, they are taking it in stride and moving on to the next project.

“There are too many positive projects coming up for us to list them all here, and that’s a good problem to have. Tourism is an important element in our rebirth and rebuilding,” McKay said.

Gerry Cormier, Vice Chairman Miramichi Region Tourism Association

The French Fort Cove Eco-Centre project is made possible through the financial support of federal, provincial and municipal governments, and through fundraising and donations from the Rotary Club, Weyerhaeuser and an event organised by Susan Butler, as well as the tireless efforts of French Fort Cove Eco-Centre Inc.(Brian Jones, Bill Barry, Bill Prince, Ken Walls, Pat Diotte, Mike McCoombs, Deputy-Mayor Paul Dawson, Councillor Ned Manderson and Councillor Brian King), French Fort Cove Development Commission (Jim Comeau, Jim Hayter, Bill Kern, Stephen Clark, Clayton Merrithew, Jim Saunders, Gerald Smith and Councillor Wendy Chadwick) and countless community volunteers.

Kevin Forgrave, Newcastle Rotary Club

Construction will start as soon as possible and weekly updates will be available on the progress. They plan to be open in the fall and will be prepared for all winter activities at the Cove. As the building progresses, planning moves on to the Display Phase. Both seasonal and permanent displays will be located in the Eco-Centre.

Pauline Sweezey, Chatham Rotary Club

French Fort Cove Eco-Centre Inc. thanks the community for their tremendous support. The Newcastle Rotary Club and the Chatham Rotary Club have played a major role. But more volunteers and help are needed. If you would like to become a donor or partner in this exciting community project please contact the French Fort Cove office at (506) 623-2074.

For more information about French Fort Cove visit their website at


French Fort Cove Eco-Centre Drawing