The Heritage Trail committee is ready to kick off the next phase of trail restoration, with an Earth Day celebration to mark the occasion.
On Friday, April 22, the public is invited to a special information session and a barbecue luncheon at the home of Steffanie Bjorgan, at 404 Concession 1, where it ends at Line 9. The time is 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Earth Day, with no charge for lunch. “We ask only for a donation to the trail fund,” says committee vice-chair Tony Chisholm.
The Heritage Trail restoration continues along the old railway bed from East and West Line, heading south and ending at York Road near the villages of Queenston and St. Davids, says Chisholm. Phase two is the section along Concession 1 from East and West Line to Line 3. The trail’s accessibility and prominence has been compromised by years of disrepair, overgrowth of foliage and erosion. The town is committed to the restoration project to support trail improvements, enhancements, and infrastructure repair.
“The official committee plans to bring the Heritage Trail back to a state that will support eco-tourism, walking, cycling, and community engagement. The plan is to reconnect the trail as a side trail to the Bruce Trail, at the same time connecting three different communities in Niagara-on-the-Lake,” says Chisholm. With the first phase successfully completed to East and West Line, the Heritage Trail committee is beginning to fundraise for the next section south.
The cost of creating a proper trail through this section of phase two is about $160,000 or $100 per metre. The committee is hoping for donations of $100 (or more) to cover the cost of restoring one metre (or more) of this trail during phase two, in return for a tax receipt from the town, and a name added to the trail website, at www.heritagetrail.ca
The committee plans to install a permanent plaque at an entrance when the second phase is completed, to recognize donations over $99 in the donor’s name or in honour of someone else. Cheques can be made out to Heritage Trail, Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and can be mailed to the town offices at Box 100, Virgil, On L0S 1T0.