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10 Year Anniversary Grey Bruce Pet Hospital and Tom Thomson Trail Group Partnership – March 2013

Ten years ago, Drs. Debbie Boyd and Dave Gomez of the Grey Bruce Pet Hospital approached the Tom Thomson Trail Group with an innovative idea to raise funds to help develop the trail between Owen Sound and Meaford.

The idea was to have the trail group create a pet memorial patio, which ended up forming the base of the trailhead kiosk in Owen Sound, located adjacent to the east side boat launch and north of the Bayshore Community Centre. How the program worked is as follows: when a pet who was cared for at the Pet Hospital died, the Veterinarians would send a letter of condolence to the pet owner, notifying them that a $25 donation in their pet’s name had been made to the Tom Thomson Trail and if they would like to have a lasting memorial for their pet, they could have a brick engraved with their pet’s name at the Pet Memorial Patio, for a cost of $25. More recently the pet owners choose between a donation to the Tom Thomson Trail and a University of Guelph Veterinary College Fund for research into cancer in animals.

Ten years later, the Grey Bruce Pet Hospital has donated a total $26,000 to the Tom Thomson Trail!!
Ruth Ann English, Chairperson of the Trail Group says that “the support of the Pet Hospital has been critical to our success, since the funds came ‘without strings attached’. We were able to use the funds in whatever way we needed to, such as paying for our annual liability insurance, signage, administrative costs such as postage, printing, etc., as well as for trail building expenses. We would not be nearly as far along in our progress if not for the support of the Grey Bruce Pet Hospital”. Funds the trail group receives through grants, and from the Municipality of Meaford and the City of Owen Sound, are understandably, designated for specific trail construction.

In a recent meeting Dr. Boyd committed the Pet Hospital to continuing with the partnership as “it provides a service to our clients, which we very much appreciate and wish to continue” said Dr. Boyd.  The Grey Bruce Pet Hospital will be recognized by the Trail Group for their ongoing financial support with the placement of a new plaque at the Trailhead Kiosk identifying them as a “Trustee of the Trail”, a donor who has supported the Trail at the $20,000 + category. As well an additional plaque will be added to the kiosk, below the panel describing the Pet Hospital program recognizing the 10 year anniversary of the partnership.

 

Upgrade of the 22 Side Road Section of Trail between Grey Rd 112 and the 11th Line – October 2012

This section of trail is the most scenic, varied and remote of the Tom Thomson Trail (TTT) system and is most worthy of a visit. This year, thanks to over 150 hours of volunteer work plus approximately $4,000 in funding from the Municipality of Meaford, sections of the trail were widened to facilitate maintenance, a boardwalk was constructed over the wettest area to reduce damage to the forest floor and trees were planted to provide future privacy for the trail and adjacent landowners.

The 2 km of trail, which is considered moderate in degree of difficulty, traverses a variety of terrain, crossing several seasonal watercourses as well as the deep gully of Orchard Creek. The vegetation is also varied, from hardwood forest to open grassland, reforested pasture land and cedar bush.

This 3-season trail is seeing increasing use from hikers, joggers, dog walkers and mountain bikers. The west section has been cleared with equestrians in mind who also are enjoying this off-road route. Parking is available at both ends of this section of trail, for those wanting a short excursion, but this section is also part of the longer Tom Thomson Trail which links Meaford and Owen Sound.

 

NEC (
Niagara Escarpment Commission) Approves TTT Application to Re-route Trail – October 2012

The Tom Thomson Trail Group received word on October 11, 2012 that the NEC had approved our application to re-route the trail along the 22nd Side Road unopened road allowance, between the St. Vincent – Sydenham Townline and the 11th Line. This has been the “missing link” of our trail route from Owen Sound to Meaford. Over the last number of years we have been unable to gain access to a path to develop the trail from the Townline to the 11th Line, which meant requiring trail users to twice cross busy Hwy #26, as well as use the shoulder of the highway for one concession.

The challenge with this “missing link” has been finding an alternate path to avoid accessing the environmentally sensitive Bayview Nature Reserve. With the assistance of the Municipality of Meaford and support of adjacent landowners, we have been able to meet the requirements of the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority. We are now able to proceed with developing a trail on the unopened road allowance, part of which has previously been farmed.

Once completed, this new section of trail will line up with the 22 Side Road section of trail between the 11th Line and Grey Rd 112, referenced above, thus providing access to 6 km of stunningly beautiful off-road trail for use by cyclists, equestrians and hikers.

Our next challenge will be raising the funds to complete this new section of trail in the 3-year time frame allowed by our NEC permit. Any donations would be gladly received!! Contact us at info@tomthomsontrail.com or check out our website www.tomthomsontrail.com for more information.

 

TTT Partners with the City of
Owen Sound to Develop New Trail Link – October 2012

In early October 2012, the Tom Thomson Trail (TTT) Group and the City of Owen Sound came to an agreement to partner on the development of a trail which will link trails on the upper east side of the City with the Tom Thomson Trail where it passes to the north of Malleable Hill. Our trail group members will contribute volunteer labour, oversight of the trail construction and future monitoring of the trail.

For this project, a trail link will be created through McArthur Park to connect with Stoney Orchard Park, on the upper east side of the City. Both are underused recreational areas, which provide picturesque views from the escarpment, of the City’s harbour. From the north end of Stoney Orchard Park the trail will exit on to 7th Ave East where trail users will ride to the paved path off 27th St. East, go down Malleable Hill to 28th St. East where this new trail will connect with the TTT and the CP Rail Trail. From that point trail users may head east toward Meaford, south toward Chatsworth or loop back into town on 26th St. East. It will also provide a connector trail from the Bayshore Community Centre and the new Regional Recreation Centre.

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