A dream presented to Innisfil Council in 2011 will be a reality this year.
The Innisfil Rotary Club is about to start building a walking trail through the 60-acres of forested area south of the Innisfil Recreational Centre and town hall.
It’s a multi-year project that will include a year-round trail system with walking, biking and accessible trails, a BMX pump track and a “living classroom” for residents and schools to utilize.
Work on stage 1 of the system could begin in early April.
“We are in the very beginning stages,” said Al Gilchrist, past president of the Rotary Club.
“We are very excited.”
A capital grant was received recently from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
“We have $150,000 in the bank, so we could start tomorrow,” Gilchrist said.
Fundraising events, including a fun run on May 28 at Innisfil Beach Park, will help pay for the trail system which, when completed, will create an active transportation link from Alcona to the municipal campus and recreation centre.
“We are very very excited about this,” Gilchrist said, adding that the club would have no problem spending the grant before the November, 2016 deadline.
“It is the biggest thing we have ever taken on and will be the focus of this club for a number of years.”
Deputy Mayor Lynn Dollin and several councilors congratulated Rotarians in the audience.
“This ties in perfectly to what the residents have been asking for,” said Councillor Donna Orsati.
“It’s just amazing.”
Future phases of development will include a link to other County of Simcoe trails such as Simcoe and Huronia Trails and the Trans Canada Trail.
The Tourism Arts Culture and Heritage focus will create the Living Classroom - a trail study of local history, flora, fauna and ecosystems.