There are new trees by the Prescott and Russell Recreational Trail near Alfred.

On Saturday, May 6, volunteers from Boises-Est, Eco East, and the Desjardins Group gathered to plant 150 tree saplings beside the trail where it crosses Alfred Station Road (County Road 15).

Mountain ash, white pine, silver maple, and white birch were planted. Eco East assists with planting about 1,000 trees each year across Eastern Ontario.

“We really like the partnership like the one with the Sentier Prescott-Russell Trail,” said Manon Doran of Eco East.

It was a sunny day with blue skies on May 6, perfect for volunteers to work outside together.

“It’s time and resources well spent for the trail and for the community,” said Prescott and Russell Recreational Trail Executive Director Eric Collard.

A new direction

In 2021, the Prescott and Russell Trail Corporation took over regular management of the trail from the United Counties of Prescott and Russell. Collard is focusing on what he describes as a social entrepreneurship component to ensure the trail’s viability and increase community support through enhancing the social impact of the trail.

“The view is to go to something sustainable,” Collard said.

Recent initiatives have included offering e-bike rentals for trail users, plans to create sponsorship programs, an adopt-a-kilometre initiative, and more events like community markets along the trail.

“We’re hoping to have more stuff like that,” Collard said.

In March 2023, Collard presented his vision for the Prescott and Russell Recreational Trail at a conference in Costa Rica held by Global Social Impact House.