Flook Family Trail honours local trail builder

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Volunteers, officials, and members of the public gathered Oct. 23 for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of a new municipal trail in Blenheim at Harwich Raleigh Public School – The Flook Family Trail.

The trail name honours the work of local trail advocate Dianne Flook, who has been a member of South-Kent Trails as well as Chatham-Kent Trails for almost 15 years. As a teacher at Harwich Raleigh Public School, she participated in an initiative to plant native Carolinian trees at the back of the school nearly forty years ago. Additional trees were planted through the years, and her family helped to maintain some wood chip trails throughout the woodlot. That work led to the opening of the trail that gives the public access to the woodlot.

Flook was unaware of the trail name until the ceremony and said she was “humbled and honoured” by the gesture.

Coun. Karen Herman, on hand for the ceremony, said she was thrilled by the choice of name.

“Dianne and her family deserve so much recognition for their years of dedicated service to their community. We are all better for the work Dianne has done, tirelessly advocating for trail development. We are more active, and more connected with our natural areas, thanks to the Flooks and South Kent Trails.”

The Flook Family Trail is 1.7 kilometers long and features a wide granular surface, making it suitable for walking and cycling. The trail begins behind the school and provides access to the three hectare woodlot. It is the second municipal trail to be built on land owned by the Lambton Kent District School Board, and was made possible through a land use agreement signed between the board and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

Jeff Bray, manager of Parks Cemeteries and Horticulture with Chatham-Kent, explained this is one of five municipal trail projects completed or in development in 2015.

“This investment in trails by the municipality, and by volunteers such as Dianne and the Chatham-Kent Trails Council, will help greater numbers of people in Chatham-Kent become more active, more often.”

The Flook Family Trail was originally proposed by South-Kent Trails, and was identified by the Chatham-Kent Trails Council as a priority project for the Municipality. Funding for the trail was provided by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent’s Trails Lifecycle Budget.

For more on trails and active living in Chatham-Kent, visit www.chatham-kent.ca/trails.

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