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Glengarry Trails Newsletter November 2023

Did you know?

A Natural heritage System is a connected system of natural features and areas that provide ecosystem services and maintain biodiversity.  It may include wetlands, woodlands, watercourses, wildlife habitat and agricultural lands. Theses systems are important for the conservation of ecosystems and indigenous species.   South Nation Conservation conducted a study to identify the Natural Heritage system within the County of SDG. It revealed that the Glengarry Trails are situated within a core natural heritage area.

Additional information can be found at this link: https://www.nation.on.ca/development/partner-county-planning-study-natural-heritage-systems .  

Conservation of the Garry Fen area

Conservation of publicly owned lands is important to the FGTA. It was the right time to take action. The trails association, spearheaded by Richard Kerr, proposed a motion to North Glengarry Township to help protect the publicly owned wetlands at the Garry Fen.

Below is the staff report to council Sept 21, 2023

Recommended Motion: THAT Council of the Township of North Glengarry directs staff to proceed with changing the Official Plan designation on Kenyon Concession 2, Lots 14, 15, 16 & 17, Part of lots 7 to 12 to Major Open Space from Rural to preserve the North Glengarry Trails system.

Background / Analysis: In May of this year, Richard Kerr from the Friends of the Glengarry Trails Association attended a Council meeting as a delegation to voice his concerns regarding preserving the North Glengarry Trails system, located west of Alexandria. His concerns were that current or future Councils may decide to sell the land where the current trails are located, thereby closing off the trail network. The Friends of the Glengarry have a vested interest, as do local residents, and Council, in safeguarding the trail systems and keeping them open to public access. Following the meeting, Staff met internally and contacted the County of SDG Planning Director, Peter Young, to discuss the matter. The current Official Plan (and zoning) for the Township owned land used by the trail network is Rural. In discussions it was determined that the only option for the Township at this time to assist in preserving the trail network would be to change the Official Plan to Major Open Space. This type of OP designation prohibits residential development, which would reduce the probability of the land being sold for development.

Alternatives: Option 1: Council directs staff to move forward with changing the Official Plan designation on the land owned by the Township which is currently used for the Glengarry Trails network. Option 2: Council does not direct staff and leaves the Official Plan designation as rural.

Financial Implications: None

Option (1) one was passed by council


Grant: Walker Climate Care

Walker Climate Care participates in the community through their monthly donation program: We Care Gives Back . The FGTA is thankful to receive their donation of $2,000 for the month of November. It will certainly help to pay expenses such as our January public liability insurance bill.

Picture from left: Heinz Kaswurm, FGTA treasurer, Kate Bentley from Walker Climate Care, Helena McCuaig, FGTA chair


Decorations on the Red Trail

Thank you to Pat Larocque and Yvon Ranger for decking out the trails for Hallowe’en. As we were packing up, a wee girl arrived with her grandmother to see the decorations. She was so excited that they were up!

This is exactly why the effort to keep the Alexandria section interesting is so important. Adults are happy to be walking out in nature, but little ones may need a bit more enticement.

If you are interested in doing some decorating, please let us know @  613-347-2573. Christmas is coming!


New Table

This beautiful rustic style table can now be found near the boat launch on the Purple Trail. In October, Yvon Ranger and Leandre Seguin, two accomplished artisans, tackled this project and built this amazing piece of furniture. This is the second one they made, the other is located near the parking lot of the Gary Fen Trail.

Yvon and Leandre


American Spikenard (A. racemose)

Learning to recognize the plants along the trails can enrich your walk. On the Green Trail, east of Marcoux Road, are a couple of beautiful samples of the American Spikenard. It is an attractive perennial that can grow up to 2 meters but is generally a meter (approximately 3 feet) tall. These native plants love shady woodland thickets. In summer you will see clusters of small white/green flowers on an upright stalk. In the fall the purple/red berries are stunning and a food source for birds. As part of the ginseng family it has many medicinal properties. 


Tales on the Trails

Have you checked out the story boards at the Lochiel Street boardwalk? We have stories that we rotate periodically. The current story is worth a look if you have not yet seen it. The artwork, done by Tina Whitman to illustrate Sandra McCuaig’s story, is spectacular.

Do you have a story to write? Paintings you would be willing to display? Are you a teacher /group leader, who is interested in knowing how to get their group’s work recognized in the panels on the trails? Get in touch. We are looking for you.


Walking Group

If you want to go for a brisk morning walk with some friendly companions, join our Wednesday walking group at 9:00 am. Contact helenamccuaig@sympatico.ca for more information.


Winter use of trails

Snow is at our doors! Skiers, snowshoers, walkers and snowmobilers will all be out enjoying the trails. Please remember to share and be considerate of others.

The FGTA sets cross country ski tracks on the trails near Alexandria. We kindly ask that walkers and snowshoers, avoid stepping on the ski tracks. The trail is wide enough for both.

Be aware that 5km of the Green Road trail is shared with snowmobilers. As the snow machines become faster and quieter, they pose an increased danger to pedestrians. The Garry Fen trail, the Boat Launch trail and the trails in the woods near Alexandria have no motorized vehicles.


 How to report trail hazards

Our great volunteer team for trail maintenance does it’s best to see that the trails are free of debris and in good condition.  We count on trail users to let us know if they come across hazards or want to report a problem with the trails. Nature is not always predictable!  You can contact us using our website form  Report a problem | Friends of Glengarry Trails Association  or call Heinz.  Please provide as much details as possible on the hazard, it’s location and the date you saw it.  You collaboration as a Friend of the Glengarry Trails is greatly appreciated!


To contribute to the preservation of 15 Km of Glengarry's Recreational Trail system

Join us and become a member

or make a donation