Happy New Year 2021- The Trails are OPEN!

The Friends of Glengarry Trails Asssociation would like to thank all trial users, our volunteers, our hard-working board of directors, and the agencies that have supported our ongoing projects.  The Trillium Foundation, The Royal Canadian Legion 423 of Alexandria, many individual donors and our membership have helped us to develop, maintain and promote our safe, public recreational trail system.

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The Boardwalks Project - Our Pride and Joy

The Boardwalks Project on the Glengarry Trails, a Public Recreational Trail System.

During 2020, The Friends of Glengarry Trails Association completed the Boardwalks Project that was designed and begun in 2019. The project was financed largely with an $86,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

This grant allowed the FGTA Board to dream that improvements were possible and to go ahead and make them actual.

The Boardwalks Project was primarily the replacement of the Lochiel Street Boardwalk that had been originally constructed during the winter of 2000 when the Glengarry Trails project was begun by FGTA and Raisin Region Conservation Authority and other partners. In 2018 and 2019, the Board of Directors became aware that some of the wood was decaying and some of the support beams were not stable

We redesigned the supports and used hemlock instead of cedar for the major beams.

We added a widened platform in the center of the boardwalk with benches and a framework for a raised platform.

We added improvements to the east and west accesses with packed stone-dust and wide gentle slopes. This was to make the trail easier for people with mobility challenges or who may be using a wheelchair.

At the western end of the boardwalk the trail was improved up to the top of the hill where we have begun a destination area with a memorial bench.

The trail section from the boardwalk in the east to the intersection with Cty Road 45 was rebuilt with aggregate and a wider packed stone surface. This section can now hold 2 cyclists side by side.

As well as the exciting additions at Lochiel Street, the Friends of the Glengarry Trails replaced one of the boardwalks at on the Garry Fen Trail. Early in the spring volunteers worked with contractor, Perry van den Oetelaar, to remove and replace the 700 ft. boardwalk that runs parallel to Lakeshore Road.

The Boardwalks Project was managed by a committee of the FGTA Board of Directors. Jeff Manley was chairman of the committee. Members of the committee are Heinz Kaswurm, Helena McCuaig, Matthew Levac of RRCA and Richard Kerr

Support for the Project

Once we began work supported by the Trillium Foundation, the  Canadian Legion of Alexandria was the first local organization to donate to the project. We are so grateful also to individuals in the community, those who donated to the project and those who took out memberships in support of the trails.

Volunteers and committee members were integral to the completion of this project. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the value of volunteer hours was triple that of paid hours. Thanks also to suppliers and contractors.  It takes a community to maintain a public recreational trail system.

 We thank the Township of North Glengarry for its support during the project, and its ongoing interest in promoting and maintaining our Glengarry Trails, a Public Recreational Trails System. See below story on the StoryWalk now installed on the Green/Red Trail beginning at the West end of Lochiel Street.

 Future Enhancements:

Four posts at the end of the Lochiel Street Boardwalk are the “foundation” for a lookout for a magnificent view of the marsh and the pond, ideal for birdwatchers. Watch for its completion soon.

Story Walk; Tales on the Trails

 In 2020, the Township of North Glengarry approved a grant toward the production of a “Tales on the Trails” feature. In cooperation with Glengarry Encore Education, the Glengarry Artists’Collective and a grant from New Horizons for Seniors; stories mounted on weatherproof viewing stations have been produced for walkers to enjoy on the boardwalk and trails. To view these stories, begin at the West End of Lochiel Street in Alexandria and proceed across the boardwalk.

Thanks to Helena McCuaig for leadership and dedication to this project, and to the StoryWalk Committee.

Have a look at our Facebook page for more photos and updates on stories

 

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FGTA Board of Directors elected at August 2020 Annual General Meeting outdoors at Island Park in Alexandria  - New board members: Angela Parker, Danielle Hards, Jane Sears, Existing Board members continuing to serve: Helena McCuaig, Heinz Kaswurm, Larissa Douglas, Karen Paavila, Richard Kerr, Robert Gale, Johanne Wensink from the Township of North Glengarry, and Matt Levac of the RRCA, 

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The Wednesday Walking Group

 After 6 years in existence, the Trail’s walking group continues and welcomes new members. This friendly group meets most Wednesdays at 9:00 am at Island Park in Alexandria. Contact Helena McCuaig at 613-347-2573 for more information.

This year a group of “elves” took it upon themselves to decorate the red trail starting at Lochiel Street for Halloween and Christmas. It was heartening to see the community interest in creating some joy during covid.

Please note the masks.  The recreational trails are a wonderful place to get outdoors and enjoy nature in the fresh air during this time and have become very popular.  Please be aware of others and bring a mask in case of meeting up with multiple folks on a narrow trail or in the parking lots.  We ask you to think of others and your own health and follow the guidelines (mask and 6 feet distance) to prevent the spread of covid 19.  PS Many have found the masks keep the face warmer in cold conditions.

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Flyers on Windshields

Volunteers have been busy at the trail heads at Garry Fen and Lochiel Street. They are putting the trail’s map and membership forms on car windshields. You can indicate that you already have the information and are a member by putting the flier on your dashboard.

You can begin or renew your membership through the website using PayPal or download and print the membership form to mail to Friends of Glengarry Trails Association
P.O. Box 108, Alexandria, Ontario, K0C 1A0, Canada.  Here is the link to become a member or to donate: FGTA Membership