August 28, 2015 – The grand opening of the Vicki Barron Lakeside Trail was held today at Island Lake Conservation Area in Orangeville. Hosted by Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), Credit Valley Conservation Foundation (CVCF) and the Friends of Island Lake, the event celebrated the newly completed perimeter trail and success of the Close the Gap campaign.
“When our Friends of Island Lake fundraising committee started this journey 10 years ago, they had a vision to expand the trail system and truly make Island Lake a place that encouraged active lifestyles, nature appreciation and tourism,” said Deborah Martin-Downs, CAO of CVC. “Today we celebrate their accomplishments and show appreciation for their dedication, hard work and commitment to the community and Island Lake.”
The Island Lake Community Trail campaign has been driven by the overwhelming support and commitment of the Friends of Island Lake, formed in 2005 by local residents and community members under the Credit Valley Conservation Foundation (CVCF). The group was formed to enhance community involvement and awareness of the need to expand the trail system at Island Lake Conservation Area. Over the past 10 years, the Friends of Island Lake have worked tirelessly to raise more than $2 million in donations of cash and in-kind labour and materials. They have contributed more than 12,000 volunteer hours to the project.
The Vicki Barron Lakeside Trail was designed with accessibility in mind. It can be used for walking and cycling around the perimeter of the lake. The 7.5 km trail includes five boardwalks, three water crossings and two land crossings on islands that connect the existing north and south shore trails. The trail is named for Vicki Barron who served for many years as CAO of CVC and is a tireless champion of trails.
“Thanks to the incredible efforts of our volunteer members of the Friends of Island Lake we have accomplished something very special with, and for, CVC,” said Wayne White, Chair of Friends of Island Lake and member of the CVCF Board. “The perimeter lake trail has become a connector. It has brought the community together, joined one municipality to another and established strong local partnerships. It has done this while building a trail expansion that will be enjoyed by the community today and for generations.”
Gail Campbell, CVC Board member representing the Town of Orangeville stated, “I remember when the idea of a perimeter trail around Island Lake first came to the Island Lake Management Committee. At the time, it seemed impossible. Now, here we are today, celebrating its completion. It is truly fabulous and quite literally, a dream come true.”
Island Lake Conservation Area is open to the public Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and weekends and holidays 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to stop by the park to walk or cycle the completed lakeside trail.
Conservation authorities are a provincial/ municipal partnership. For 60 years, Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) has worked with its partners, municipalities and stakeholders to support a thriving environment that protects, connects and sustains us. CVC gratefully acknowledges financial support from our member municipalities for facilities, programs and services: the Regions of Halton and Peel; the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton; the Towns of Caledon, Erin, Halton Hills, Mono, Oakville and Orangeville; and the Townships of Amaranth and East Garafraxa. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario.
Credit Valley Conservation, Credit Valley Conservation Foundation and Friends of Island Lake celebrated the official opening of the Vicki Barron Lakeside Trail today with a community celebration and ribbon cutting. Pictured on one of three lake-crossing bridges on the trail are (from left to right): Wayne White (Co-Chair, Friends of Island Lake), Warren Maycock (Warden, County of Dufferin), Laura Ryan (Mayor, Town of Mono), Vic Szarmes (Friends of Island Lake Volunteer), Sylvia Jones (MPP, Dufferin – Caledon), Jeremy Williams (Mayor, Town of Orangeville), Alan Howe (Friends of Island Lake Volunteer), Bob Shirley (Co-Chairs, Friends of Island Lake), Larry Dee (Friends of Island Lake Volunteer) Gerry Lindsay (Friends of Island Lake), David Tilson (MP Dufferin – Caledon) and Andrew Welch (Town Crier for Caledon and Erin).
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