When I decided to use Welland Water Wheels, those words can't fit on the button for these pages,
so I used Water Way Wheels. You can see these generic words can be versatile, still having three w's for the Welland Water Way to use as graphic art symbols.
Before I describe what could be an innovative sports vehicle that could attract world-wide attention,
let me describe other more ordinary uses of plastic for the Welland Water Way.
Can you think about those decor items made of fiber optics, those thin white strands that light up, being loose and moving around? Imagine making trellises for a Water Way rose garden that light up as fiber optics.
We could manufacture white plastic strips that replace the look of wood. More than wood, these strips could bend and join overhead, making a rose trellis walkway, or be used to make islands of interesting shapes to both see and use as backdrops for various photos, weddings or artistic. If they are lit up as fibre optics, that would be the best.
If there are viewing stands along the canal, or at Merritt Island, they could have these trellises climbing up the outside, and they don't have to be straight strips, they could be shaped to look as natural as vines.
They could also be colourized with the use of different colours of plastic, to look more natural, or they could be made of clear plastic with a blend of translucent colours, see-through, that transpose the light in as many ways as the sun and moon shine, as solar panels can make them glow, or use glow-in-the-dark plastic.
It is expecting a lot out of natural roses, expecting them to grow to such heights each year, so using plastic molds to make stems and flowers, and not just roses, as an artistic floral decoration, is an alternative. Having hanging pots up in the air or on the sides of viewing stands and other buildings is another way to have real roses cover everything.
Welland was the last city to complete our section of the peninsula trail system. Politicians spent money for trips to Europe and the United States. Welland, being in the center of the peninsula, also missed out on having abandoned railroads converted to trails that would lead to every direction in the peninsula. The motto of Welland is "Where Rails and Water Meet", and think how nice it would be to re-use that historic slogan as "Where Trails and Water Meet".
The theme of a return to nature, re-humanizing our environment, could be realized with these alternative travel routes. If personal electric vehicles become popular in the future, they could be expanded beyond human power to include a wider section for future vehicles.
Back to trellises and floral decor, I don't see Chippewa Park as needing this new invention. The age of the park and the war memorial alone, as well as its' localized position, say I would leave it alone as is.
So many generations of Welland people have gone there for wedding photos, a deep tradition, it should be left alone as that tradition, so brides and grooms and wedding parties could be where their parents were.
Having this new invention for Merritt Island, where the aquaduct bridge entrance would guarantee a degree of security, would be the best start, and there would be unlimited space. I can see using clear plastic panels for a secure roof that covers the walkway, for rain and wind protection, with a decorative floral molding underneath for artistic light reflection and shadows. Global warming has Welland receiving more rain in the summer and in the winter, so it would be nice as an attraction if it was all-weather, being available for walkers and sports accessory users. That would create a duality of a protected and artistic walkway, with a lower walkway that is natural and runs along the natural beauty of Chippawa Creek. If the covered pathway reached along the canal to the train bridge, canal sports viewers would be able to watch all events in shade and away from rain or snow. Vehicles transporting end of canal users to Morningstar Point cabins and park-lands would have a luxury ride.
If the thought of having a cover over that pathway is something that doesn't seem appropriate for you,
you always have the other side of the canal with that trail to consider.
The view: City Hall is letting the banks of the canal overgrow with trees and shrubbery. When you have a clear view along the canal it can look like a lake. If there are long distance or sectional events in the canal, much of the view would be obstructed. If stands or docks are needed in the future, the older growth will be more difficult to remove. Clearing growth would be immediate work for job creation. I can see letting residents take this wood as firewood for free, which for the city is free disposal. I would hope that demand creates another job for someone to pre-cut it, as logs or kindling.
Rest stops: Benches, or tables with seating, with overhead roofs similar to the pathway panels, could be placed along the trail on both sides of the canal for trail users, as a way to rest, or as long distance bicycle riders, a place to get out of the sun, wind and rain. The steel pipe railings along the downtown section of the canal, and around the aqueduct, would be easy to use for construction. As being downtown, downtown visitors who aren't planning on a hike would find it easy and comfortable to have a short walk, introducing them to the artistic reality of the Welland Water Way. The overhead panels would also offer protection for any vendors or displays along the Way.
Viewing blinds: If the Water Way manufactured plastic "duck blinds" as private viewing stands, imitating bullrush and wood construction, not only would they enable artists and photographers a chance to relax and observe encroaching birds and animals, I'm sure they would immediately become popular outside of Welland for other parks, private property watchers and hunters. Portable blinds, What a Water Way to go!
As far as these decorative panels are manufactured, I can see a city wide competition for the designs, and as for getting various designs, they all could be used, even if some have to be upgraded for accepted artistic visuals. As a wannabe global attraction that pulls in tourists from Niagara Falls, all flowers and foliage from around the world could be used. Merritt Island could feature areas with themes of different countries, so global travelers could enjoy a memory of home.
When I described fiber optic trellises, did you think of light travel as falling stars, or shining pin-lights into trees at night, creating exciting, if not meditative, mood lighting? I know City Hall politicians are thinking about fifty-two stars with red and blue stripes, shining high above everyone else.
What can you think of that can be made of decorative plastic? Picnic tables, for sure. Take it from there.
Welland Water Wheels: I can see making three-wheeled Water Wheels, a combination of bicycle and four-wheeler off-road vehicles, working like a recreational floating tractor. The big back tires, looking like tractor tires, and a single front tire, would be hollow and float with a rider on the water. Ordinary Water Wheels would have shorter tire blades that would take less energy to propel, and spray less water. Sporting Water Wheels would have deeper blades for more athletic traction. The front tire would have a single blade running around the middle to dig into the water for steering control. I can see it being a five speed, using bicycle components. Using bicycles tossed into the dump for parts would be a recyling way to begin manufacture.
I'm calling these Water Wheels, but these vehicles would be capable of not only riding on water, they would be able to travel over terrain that mountain bikes find too difficult. Most of the time, in winter, there isn't enough snow for cross-country skiers, so cross-country snow riding could become popular, as personal recreation and for Welland Water Way winter sports events.
The races the city could sponsor should attract atheletes from around the peninsula and Ontario, and I'm sure they would want to purchase one for themselves to use in their cities. That could create races in those cities who would order Water Wheels for their residents. It would not be wise to think in terms of riding out on Lake Erie, as a substitute boat for recreation or fishing, because currents could pull you out the same as if you were swimming too far out, even if friends were tethered together for a fishing island. On the Water Way, that could be practical. Being personal here, I can see myself using one to ride on the flat, fossil rocks along Lake Erie that bicycles can't traverse, or on the water along the shore, avoiding private property. Right now, it's late fall when birds are flying along that major migratory route.
The City of Port Colborne could feature races out to the breakwater and back, or around the marina.
Welland should be generous with Port Colborne, putting on summer festivals so many Wellanders enjoy.
Water Wheels that have John Deere colours, Water Wheels that have custom colours, just to offer choices for users, or custom ordered for buyers. Water Wheels that have lights or glow from within.
Water Wheels with windshields or protective coverings or fishing rod holders. They are yours to define.
Welland Walk Ways: As Merritt Island is landscaped and horticultured into a new millennium parks attraction, the many small streams and sunken earthworks could have floral walkways and small bridges, that allow paths into deeper sections of the island, especially around Morningstar Point. Sections could be joined for longer travel, and this product should become popular with other parks systems around Ontario. They could be installed off the ground so users would be up in the air, amongst the trees, looking down on undisturbed nature. They could be installed with pontoons as floating paths, walkways to canal racing docks, or floating picnic islands. It's nice on the water.
A larger floating walkway that allows pedestrian traffic from the Club Richilieu and River Road, even Aqueduct Street, would only improve local access, and for tourists, from outside parking lots. Even if these descriptions sound like ordinary ideas made out of plastic, the size of them is what makes them inventive as patentable products, as much as any innovation and design.
Inventive bathtubs: One of the greatest inventions of mankind is the hot water heater and bathtubs. That doesn't mean that modern people are doing what their ancestors did, soak and sleep in them.
It's understood that the hot water of hot springs, geysers, even warm tidal pools, are healing experiences. In Europe, the Vatican took over many of the hot water attractions, saying a saint had healed there, when all along it was just soaking in hot water that took away many pains. Look at todays' sports atheletes, soaking in jacuzis after a game, a necessary thing to take away the aches and strains of professional sports. And yet how many people use a hot tub at all, never mind for a long time of heat and luxury?
When you soak in a hot tub, or rest under water, the energy your body uses to fight gravity becomes a healing energy, a primal energy. Psychics will say that someone who can sleep in water is a psychic. Look where that comes from, being born in the womb, floating as we become formed and alive. As evolutionary beings we came from primal waters, and still have salt water as our blood.
What do we have as residential bathtubs? Can you lay down? No. Do you want to fill these high-walled tubs up full enough so you can be underwater? No. There's no head rest. Are these thin shells of metal and baked enamel insulated enough to retain the heat? Not really. Do they look like hospital equipment? Yes.
Try to imagine a long and low bathtub, something made of thick plastic. They can be made so that modern bathtub hardware can be used for installations. They can have a head rest so you can lay down and be covered in water, and inflatable pillows could be an accessory.
If you would like an outdoor model, without bathtub hardware, that's an option. They could be made of any colour, from what's meditative for you to transparent with floral designs, or aquatic looking, or like a life-raft lost at sea, drifting, on a sea of forgotten heartaches, or back-aches, or what you thought was arthritis. They could be built into cabins or along the path outside maintenance buildings, where weary recreational path travelers could have an option instead of swimming. This could also be a version of public hot baths. Attendants would be available to fill them with hot water, or whatever body temperature was desired. Special additives would be on sale. Everything from nordic winter use to tropical sun spas are possible. Sightings of mermaids and mermen along the canal would bring free publicity for the city.
Any way you look at it, everyone should have access to a bathtub where you can lay down and relax,
soak and heal in hot water, and if Welland Water Way pioneers this new residential fixture it could create a new business with customers around the peninsula, throughout Ontario, and influence the modern world.
As you can see, I offer these concepts freely. This is my Crowland Township memorial for Welland.