The town of Carbonear held an event at the entrance to the new walking trail on Friday afternoon, June 16th, and saw around 40 people attend, including members of council and Ken McDonald, MP for the riding of Avalon.
The new walking trail was dedicated to Nell Finn, the first female council member in the town of Carbonear. Finn served the town from 1973-1981.
The trail has been named Nell’s Walking Trail, and spans a little over two kilometres, starting just off of Pondside Road, leading toward Columbus Drive, and looping back around.
George Butt Jr., mayor of Carbonear, said that he could not think of anyone more deserving of the dedication, knowing full well the extent of Finn’s contributions to the town as its first female councillor.
“This has been in the works for a while,” said Butt, “but we came out of it with a beautiful walking trail, and I think that’s something all residents of the town can appreciate.”
Finn, who was surprised by the news the night before the dedication, spoke about her time spent on council, and how she felt as though it was the right step for her to take in life.
“I’ve never been the kind of person to sit still, or to do nothing,” Finn explained. “So I decided to try for a seat on council, and I’ll never regret the time I spent there. It felt good to be where I was, and to have people listen to me and what I had to say.”
During a speech to the crowd, Butt acknowledged the impact Finn had on the town, noting her significance as the town’s first female council member. Butt said Finn paved the way for future women who wished to hold a seat on council.
Kai Bath, Economic Development and Tourism Officer for the town of Carbonear, told The Compass he was excited to finally open the trail to the public, but fears that dirtbikes and ATVs will ward off residents who wish to use the trail for its original purpose – walking.
“We’ve got things planned so that we can control what can and can’t be used on the trail,” Bath said, “but right now, we just have to hope ATVs and all that stay off the trail. There are lots of other places people can take that, and driving up and down this trail is only going to tear it up.”
Bath also explained that the town has funding applications put in to extend the trail further, saying that plans are in place to give the trail three separate parts. Work on extending the trail is expected to start later in the year.
Finn later told The Compass how she felt to see the trail named after her.
“I feel wonderful, really. My mind is racing, but it’s a good thing. I absolutely love it,” said Finn.