Recreational trails offer so much, especially trails in natural areas. Runners, walkers, cyclists and children all benefit from the opportunity for exercise. Trails even help protect our local environment by letting people experience nature without damaging or interfering with it. Trails also help build communities. They allow us to connect with people, especially those we might not talk to otherwise. Neighbors can walk their pets together, children can explore together and friends can relax together.
Island Lake Conservation Area is a perfect example of how a trail can connect a community. Over the past 16 years, we’ve worked with Credit Valley Conservation Foundation (CVCF) and the Friends of Island Lake (FOIL) to complete the Island Lake Trails Project. The first part of the lakeside trail was completed in 2001. The last bridges were finished in 2015.
Visitors to Island Lake can now walk around (and over!) the lake on accessible trails and boardwalks. Since the trail’s completion, use of the trail has exploded – by over 350 per cent! Fall is the busiest time on the trail, averaging close to 20,000 visits per month.
Since 2005, FOIL has worked with CVCF to raise over $1.8 million in donations. This money helped complete accessible trails around Island Lake Conservation Area. The trails also help connect the municipalities of Orangeville and Mono. More importantly, they connect people with nature and build communities.
While the trail has been a huge success, the job isn’t done yet. FOIL is hosting Trail Donation Day on October 22, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s at Island Lake Conservation Area, of course! Donations will support future trail development and improvements at Island Lake Conservation Area.
Contributions of all kinds are welcome. Whether you can volunteer your time, or just help spread the word, we’d appreciate it – and so will your community.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/379264352490804/.