$145,800 in provincial funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation will go to helping the North Hastings Economic Development Committee refurbish 18 kilometres of non-motorized trails in the area.
Bird’s Creek in Hastings Highlands, Nellie Lunn in Wollaston Township and McGeachie in Limerick Township. The plan was detailed at a meeting held on Tuesday in Maynooth. Chair of Hastings Trails Cathy Trimble, M.P.P. for Hastings-Lennox and Addington Daryl Kramp, Warden of Hastings County Rick Phillips and Medical Officer of Health with Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Piotr Oglaza were on hand for the presentation. Representatives from Hastings Highlands, Limerick and Wollaston were on hand including Mayor of Hastings Highlands Vic Bodnar, Reeve of Limerick Carl Stefanski and Councillor Tim Conlin from Wollaston.
“It opens up a whole new opportunity for North Hastings,” Kramp told My Bancroft Now after the presentation. “It reaches and touches on so many different areas like tourism, environment, agriculture, development, stewardship, nature, everything is all there.” He says it will be a “huge economic boom” for the area.
The funding will be used over the next year to work on bringing the trails up to “current standards” Trimble says. She says she hopes to show residents how useful trails can be. They can be used by libraries for storytelling, yoga groups for hikes, horseback riders among many other uses. “There’s going to be so many more opportunities once these trails are out there refurbished and available for the public and the tourists and seasonal residents,” she says.
While working on the trails, Trimble says it will be important for them to do what the land wants. “It’s important to follow what the land and the contours of the land tells us,” she explains. She says they will also try to follow what the original intention of the trail was. Trimble says there’s a lot of work to do, but when they do start they will look to put in things like trail kiosks, accessible outdoor washrooms and wayfinding and interpretive signage.
The trails are set to be finished by spring 2020.
A volunteer training session will be held at Loyalist College’s Bancroft campus later this month. It’s open to anyone that is interested in helping the Economic Development Committee. More information can be found on the event page.