It’s been a while since I posted here. I suppose it’s because I was working on a couple other projects – although I must admit that I’ve had nothing interesting to discuss over the past couple of weeks.
This past weekend I experienced my first “Open City” event. These events give members of the public a chance to explore a selection of government and privately-owned buildings. My hometown, Fredericton, offers just such an opportunity and I was excited to check out a few new places.
I started off with a tour of Fredericton’s E. John Bliss Water Treatment Plant. I wanted to share my passion for water treatment (weird, I know) with my boyfriend – so this was the perfect opportunity. The Water Treatment plant was shiny, new, and equipped with all the latest in automated water-management technology – a beautiful sight to me after touring equivalent facilities in Scotland.
Some interesting facts about this new water treatment facility:
- The facility was built in 2008 on the site of a former gas station – the land was remediated and repurposed successfully
- The water comes from ground-water wells in the Queens Square area
- Lime and chlorine are added prior to filtration – this treats the moderate levels of manganese present in our otherwise very clean water
Next, we headed over to the Brydone Jack Observatory – Canada’s first astronomical observatory. We learned about the politics that surrounded the construction of this tiny observatory, and about its original purpose in land-claim disputes. It was interesting to learn that much of the province’s original land-surveying was based on one man’s work.
Finally, we headed over to the Provincial Archives. Here we chatted with friendly staff about the use of the Archives – which are open to everyone – and the storage process. We got to take a peek inside the massive holdings of the archives and discussed the length of time that modern documents could be preserved. I was particularly interested to learn that modern papers and inks decomposed quicker than those printed more than 100 years ago on cotton-based papers.
I learned a lot more than I can describe in this quick blog post. The opportunity to see behind the scenes in just 3 of 19 available buildings was fascinating. I hope to check out more next year!
Thanks a lot to the coordinators of Doors Open Fredericton! Next year I’ll be sure to snap more photos.