Volunteers from the Greater Terrace Beautification Society have now taken down the upside down umbrella art installations that gave Brolly Square in downtown Terrace its name.
With that marks the formal end of a more than 10-year history of the society trying to establish an urban park on the former gas station site owned by Imperial Oil.
The oil company had agreed to lease the property until such time that its brownfield status could change to “green” by natural remediation of the hydrocarbons in the soil.
“They’ll be stored and repurposed,” society president Chris Hansen said Oct. 7 as volunteers unbolted the metal posts containing the umbrellas from their cement footings.
Earlier, red bricks that were placed by the society to make for a hard surface on top of soil were removed by other groups and individuals.
The idea was that those taking the bricks would make donations to the beautification society — and that worked well for the most part, Hansen said.
Planks from planters were taken to the Terrace Little Theatre building and used for a boardwalk.
The square was at first a popular place for individuals to spend time and for a wide variety of community events including concerts, barbecues and by groups holding promotional or public awareness campaigns.
But it also became a focal point for an increasing level of anti-social behaviour requiring a consistent police presence. As Imperial began taking soil samples to test remediation levels, protective fencing went up and bricks broken or otherwise disturbed.
“Things just really had a domino effect,” said Hansen as anti-social behaviour increased at the site.
“I was really not our intent to have it end this way when we started.”
A statement from Imperial Oil indicated it will soon put the property on the real estate market.