Trail associations located from St. Lawrence to St. Bernard’s-Jacques Fontaine met Feb. 23 to discuss the Burin Peninsula Trailway Project, and in particular, opportunities for trail development funding in the region.
The meeting was prompted by an announcement within the 2014 federal budget $10 million in federal funds will be committed to the development of trail projects over the next two years.
Burin Peninsula Trailway Inc. Secretary/Treasurer Elroy Grandy said “This is an opportune time to seek funding for our regional trail development. With the potential to receive funding at both the federal and provincial levels, we may make some significant progress on our trailway in the coming year.”
Funds to be distributed in conjunction with the federal announcement will be administered by the National Trails Coalition – a not-for-profit body dedicated to the development of trails in Canada. Burin Peninsula Trailway Inc. benefitted from a similar program in 2009 when a trail connection was constructed between Point Rosie and Powder Horn.
In making its application for funding this time, Burin Peninsula Trailway Inc. will seek partial funding from the National Trails Coalition and an equal portion from the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development.
Mr. Grandy said “We anticipate that we may be able to access as much as 80-90 per cent funding for this project through these government partners. At this point, our trail associations need to work together to develop a budget and to identify the sections of trail that are most shovel-ready and have the most potential to increase revenues toward subsequent projects.”
The Burin Peninsula Trailway project has been ongoing since 2009. The project aims to connect existing trail routes on the peninsula in order to create a regional trail network, spanning from Goobies to the southern portion of the region.
Recent projects conducted as part of the project have involved connections between Fortune and Lamaline, and Marystown and Garnish. Other milestones completed as part of the project include the approval of Burin Peninsula Trailway Inc.’s Environmental Assessment application in 2013.
Mr. Grandy indicated “With our environmental assessment now approved, we have been given a specific set of guidelines for conferring with various departments in completing our connections. In the meantime, having the assessment completed should enable us to commence projects in shorter order.”
The meeting held in February also included an election of officers, as the board had not appointed a new executive since 2009. The elected members of the executive committee were Dan Kelly of the Marystown Trail Association as Chair, Robert Ayers of the Fortune Trail Association as Vice-Chair and Elroy Grandy of the Garnish-Point Rosie Trail Association as Secretary/Treasurer.
As per the corporation’s constitution and by-laws, each trail association engaged as a member of Burin Peninsula Trailway Inc. will have one member serve as a director on the board, and will be entitled to one vote during all meetings.
Each association is permitted to send a replacement to Burin Peninsula Trailway Inc. meetings in the absence of the official director.
The executive committee is now asking member associations to submit any information that may assist in the development of a trailway funding proposal to the Secretary/Treasurer. Such documentation includes: any Licenses to Occupy or related permit information; photos, media clippings, previous proposals; budgetary information; mapping for proposed connections and existing routes; and other information that may be of interest.
Mr. Grandy suggested “There are many trail projects ongoing in Canada in various forms, so there may be significant competition for funding. With that being said, our proposed trailway will include over 500 kilometres of trail through varied terrain with breathtaking views.
“We feel it is a magnificent tourism product, and we are confident that we can develop a top notch proposal.”
For information and updates on the Burin Peninsula Trailway Project, visit the Burin Peninsula Trailway page within the Town of Garnish website, or join the board’s Facebook page at ‘https://www.facebook.com/groups/629419403796115/’.
Burin Peninsula Trailway passes for 2014 are now on sale, and are being sold by trail associations throughout the region. The passes are the main source of revenue for trail associations in developing and maintaining trails.
Each pass entitles the bearer to ride any trail on the Burin Peninsula.
Mr. Grandy said more news will be provided as it becomes available.