WINGHAM – The Wingham Community Trail and Ecological Park will be receiving some improvements this spring, thanks to some much-needed funding from Trillium Mutual Insurance.
Wingham Trail Committee recently accepted a donation of $2,200 from the Trillium ROOTS Community Fund, established through Trillium Mutual Insurance as a way to provide meaningful financial assistance and support to rural communities.
According to Maitland Valley Conservation Authority general manager and Wingham Trail Committee member Phil Beard, the money will go towards planting 180 native shrubs on the trail where there is currently only grass planted. Not only will the shrubs help naturalize the trail, Beard hopes the natural barrier will help cut down on people illegally dumping on the trail.
“People are coming across with there with their garden refuse and branches, and dumping them on municipal land,” Beard said. “We’re hoping the shrub border will help prevent that.”
Established in the early 1990s, the Wingham Community Trail will be getting an extension this year as part of a planned subdivision behind the Maitland River Elementary School, which will bring the trail to around 9 kilometres.
“We were able to convince the municipality and the previous developer to leave a five metre easement around the outside of the subdivision for the trail,” Beard said. “As the subdivision develops, the trail will be developed along with it. It will make a nice big loop.”
The shrub plantings are planned for the spring, with a tentative date of Friday, May 1, with Beard saying volunteers are always welcome to lend a hand.
“We’re going to reach out to the Maitland River Elementary School, and then staff from Trillium Mutual are going to come out to help,” he said. “We have a whole list of work that needs to be done on the park and the trail.”
The trail also receives some maintenance from the North Huron public works department, which Beard said provides a little relief to the busy committee.
“There’s eight of us, and we’ve been averaging about 150-180 volunteer hours a year,” he said. “We just can’t sustain that and we’re not keeping up with everything that needs to be done.”
People can donate to the Wingham Community Trail through the account at the Wingham Libro Credit Union.