Trail Care Event: Lang-Hastings Rail Trail, Ontario
A celebration and thank you to the many dedicated Trail supporters
On May 6, 2023, attendees gathered along the Lang-Hastings Rail Trail to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its grand opening in May 2013, and to extend deep appreciation for all the contributions of volunteers and donors over the past decade. In preparation for the event, board members, community groups and volunteers held clean-up days to celebrate Earth Month. The event was organized by the Peterborough-Hastings Trans Canada Trail Association (P-HTCTA).
Recognizing seminal members of the community and the P-HTCTA
Several prominent volunteers and supporters were recognized and thanked.
Peter Elmhirst and Anne Marshall from Elmhirst’s Resort were recognized. Peter was a member of the steering committee to incorporate the P-HTCTA and was also a longtime board member. His family has run Elmhirst’s Resort since the early 20th century, through five generations! Anne helped significantly with fundraising over several years. Since 2010, Peter and Anne have been deeply engaged in fostering community support for the project and in encouraging donations.
Other speakers included Joe Taylor, Mayor of Otonabee-South Monaghan, who was instrumental in garnering municipal support, and Kevin English, current P-HTCTA President and a member of the board since the group was incorporated. According to Christine Painter, P-HTCTA Vice President, Kevin “is the cornerstone of community social development” in the area.
Special attendees included Barry Diceman, past president of P-HTCTA and of the Cycling Dudes group, who is turning 80 this year. In 2022, he cycled over 800 kilometres on the Lang-Hastings Rail Trail! As co-chair of the steering committee, Barry dedicated hundreds of hours a year to management and maintenance of the trail. The Cycling Dudes ride the trail several Wednesdays during cycling season and have done so for the past 10 years!
The P-HTCTA set up information booths along the trail to promote their new Trail Monitor and Stewardship programs. Seven people signed up that day alone.
Trail Care sponsor Columbia Sportswear generously provided T-shirts to the event’s volunteers. Approximately 70 people were in attendance. Trans Canada Trail’s Chief Government Relations Officer, Jason McLinton attended the event and spoke; Lexi Rosen, Trans Canada Trail’s Community and Volunteer Coordinator also attended the event.
Helping garner support thanks to Trail Care
Christine Painter describes the impact of the Trail Care Grant: “[It] makes it so simple for the board to prioritize projects and garner support from volunteers. Often, in-kind donations of machinery/equipment are provided to complete projects, so the value of the grant is doubled or tripled. Trail users see that the trail is well maintained and feel safe to use it, that is really important to us.”
This event was made possible with support from generous sponsors Columbia Sportswear Canada, Hydro One and Athletic Brewing Co.
Encouraging active living along Ontario trails
Christine Painter explains the importance of the Trail section: “The Lang-Hastings Rail Trail crosses Peterborough County and connects to the City of Peterborough, and regionally to Kawartha Lakes in the west and Northumberland County in the east. There is a great deal of pride being associated with Trans Canada Trail, and people understand it is a free public recreational space. Locally, the trail is a safe place for families and individuals for outdoor recreation and socialization, as it is in a rural area. The trail also brings visitors to the area looking for new destinations.”
She continues, “Trans Canada Trail’s support and guidelines for the event were incredible. Establishing a more visible connection to the Trail is really important for community support, because being part of a national trail system generates excitement and inclusion, and also grassroots support. Working together builds connection and best practices for trail management.”
Christine Painter is Vice-President, Peterborough-Hastings Trans Canada Trail Association. As a volunteer director, she works with the board to manage and maintain the Lang-Hastings Rail Trail, a 33-kilometre trail in Peterborough County. In 2011, she worked on the build/development of the trail as project manager, and in 2015, she joined the board.