Some may call it the flattest land they have ever seen in Ontario, but Chatham-Kent is gaining ground in also being known as incredibly scenic, with hundreds of kilometres of beautiful, and yes, flat, trails – some urban and some rural.
Phase One of the 21. 5-kilometre Greenfield Global Trail, starting at Grand Avenue West, following west on Grand River Line to the Prairie Siding bridge and back east on Riverview Line, is now complete. The first three kilometres of paved shoulder wide enough for bikes, hikers and families with strollers will provide a scenic multi-use trail for residents to use.
It was a dream for more than 10 years for Dianne Flook, who has been a passionate advocate of creating beautiful and functional trails all over Chatham-Kent. She is taking great pleasure in watching what she thought was impossible come to life.
Flook has been honoured by groups such as the May Court Club for her involvement in making her community a better place to live, and continues to press her case for a connected trail system across the municipality. If you want to bike, hike or run from Chatham to Wallaceburg to Bothwell to Blenheim – you can do it – once the trail system can be paid for and constructed.
Every milestone brings Flook closer to her ultimate dream and she credits her fellow Chatham-Kent Trails committee members, municipal engineering personnel and Greenfield Global for helping her make it come true.
Public/private partnerships, such as the one that helped create the trail, are exactly what municipalities such as ours need to create the big projects that draw tourists and locals alike. With our municipal tax base a little thin compared to more urban municipalities, it helps a great deal when a company will see a need and step up to help make it happen.
Companies such as Greenfield Global, and Enbridge (formerly Union Gas) and TekSavvy – they are all good corporate citizens who don’t just provide jobs to the community; they have a vested stake in making it prosper, both economically and as a great community in which to live and play.
With Flook and Angelo Ligori of Greenfield Global partnering up, “no” is a word that probably won’t be heard very often.