An $84,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant will enable future generations to continue to explore the forest surrounding Loch Garry and to embrace the beauty of the Glengarry Trails. Funding will be used to make the Lochiel Street Boardwalk accessible to all, including to those with limited mobility.
“Trillium grant funding will be used to replace the 460-foot long Lochiel Street Boardwalk, which had fallen into disrepair over time. The existing boardwalk was constructed more than 20 years ago by the Friends of the Glengarry Trails Association, in collaboration with the Raisin River Conservation Authority,” said North Glengarry Councillor Jeff Manley, who is Chair of the Friends of the Glengarry Trails Association, Boardwalk Replacement Committee.
The Lochiel Street Boardwalk is located on township property and it serves as one of the primary access points to the trail network, which encompasses more than 15 kilometres of nature trails. The trail-head is located on Lochiel Street West, just past Island Park, in Alexandria. The trails are located on both public and private lands and are maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers, who organize monthly work bees to keep the trails clean and groomed. Volunteers and members are always welcome to join the group. They can do so by visiting the Friends of the Glengarry Trails Association website at www.glengarrytrails.com
Construction of the new Lochiel Street Boardwalk is expected to start later this year and it will be completed by next May. The Boardwalk Replacement Committee members are currently in the process of selecting the design for the new boardwalk. Part of this process will involve designing accessible ramps that will enable people of all abilities to get on and off the boardwalk.
Last year the Township of North Glengarry awarded a $3,300 Community Grant to the Friends of the Glengarry Trails Association to create a storyboard feature along the trails. Each of the ten panels will contain part of a story. The goal is to capture the interest of children and families visiting the trails, further enhancing the experience for visitors. The storyboards represent a collaborative effort between the Glengarry Encore Education Centre members who will be writing the fictionalized stories and members from the Glengarry Artists’ Collective, who will be providing the illustrations. Ontario Trillium Foundation funding will be used to pay for the remaining costs of this project, which is also expected to commence this year.
The Glengarry Trails system is located in the Garry River watershed, located just west of Alexandria. It features both woodland and wetland areas. The Friends of Glengarry Trails Association have built boardwalks, small bridges and interpretive signs along the length of the trails, which are open year-round. During the summer, flowers, birds and wildlife are active on the trails. In winter, the trails feature some of the County’s most beautiful sunsets and they represent a true jewel in Ontario’s Celtic Heartland.