You can mark down another project for Walk Around Lake Country with the completion Friday of a gravel pathway along Woodsdale Road, leading up to the intersection with Highway 97 at the south end of Lake Country.
The volunteer group, along with staff from the District of Lake Country and a grant from the Lake Country Rotary Club, built a 650 metre gravel pathway along Woodsdale Road from Seymour Road to Highway 97.
The project, mostly funded by a $6,000 grant from Rotary, added the pathway to Woodsdale Road and will make it easier for pedestrians to avoid traffic on the roadway leading up to the intersection at the highway and Oceola road. It also connects with another pathway on Oceola Road that leads up to the Lake’s.
“This was a great partnership between Walk Around Lake Country (WALC), the Rotary and the District of Lake Country,” said Dev Fraser, the president of WALC. “We believe there is a huge need for safe pathways and we’re hoping to get a bunch more of these in the district to make our community a safer place at a reasonable price.”
The project began at the beginning of last week and was completed by Friday. The total cost of the project may have been closer to $40 or $50,000 but was completed for much less, said Fraser, thanks to volunteer efforts as well as staff time from Lake Country and supplies, some of them donated.
“I think it’s really cool and much needed,” said Greg Bucholz, the District of Lake Country’s infrastructure services director. “It isn’t the ultimate long term goal but provides short-term functionality in a very cost-effective manner to provide a safety enhancement for vulnerable users.”
Bucholz credited Walk Around Lake Country for getting the project up and completed in a short amount of time. For many years WALC worked on increasing the number of trails in and around the forests and mountains of Lake Country. But with an extensive trail network now in place, the group has turned its sites on pathways that connect parts of the district.
Last year they completed a one-kilometre stretch from Oceola up to the Lake’s subdivision and with the current addition to Woodsdale road, there is now a much longer pathway connecting the community in that area.
And Fraser said they want to get more pathways done as soon as possible.
“We’re trying to link every neighbourhood, school, park, even bus stops,” said Fraser, who added the hope is to have the pathways connected to both Pelmewash and the old CN corridor for an eventual loop trail.
The new pathway comes at a time when Lake Country is working towards its 20-year Transportation for Tomorrow Plan, looking to make the district a safer place for pedestrians and cyclists as they share the road with vehicles.
Bucholz says having a community group like WALC to help goes a long way.
“It’s absolutely wonderful,” said Bucholz. “Every year we are adding to our inventory of sidewalks and bike lanes so this is just another piece. It would be nice to have it all done tomorrow but that’s not realistic. It’s great to be working with the community groups and people from the community.”