The L&PS Rail Corridor Trail has been getting lots of attention since its opening. It has already prompted rave reviews from many individuals and families who have gotten out to walk, run and cycle the path. The project was also enthusiastically applauded by a local group, Citizens for Active Transportation (C4AT) as a giant positive contribution to getting people moving.
Since their formation in 2012, the C4AT group has collaborated with Elgin St. Thomas Public Health to promote the benefits and fun of active transportation from a citizen’s perspective. They have worked to build awareness and advocate for infrastructure and opportunities for everyone to “get there” by human power more often.
As noted by St. Thomas Mayor Heather Jackson prior to the Trail opening on November 10th, “This has been a very exciting project. A significant investment has been made into Active Transportation. The 2.2 km trail will provide a link between downtown St. Thomas and Sunset Drive at Parkside Collegiate Institute. This will allow people walking, running or biking a safe route to travel.”
We took our first walk on the trail on one of those rare fair-weather fall days. Individuals and families were out in full force, obviously enjoying the fresh air and the wonderful location.
Photos from a fall walk on the trail. The Palmer Memorial Walkway Sign: "John William Franklin Palmer (1918-2009) and his wife Dorothy Fay Palmer (1925-2010) lived through the glory days of the railway industry in St. Thomas and Elgin County. They travelled the London & Port Stanley Railway to enjoy Lake Erie along with many others who caught the train at the local L&PS Station. In 2013 the station was lovingly recreated as part of this new park development with the support of a generous donation from the Estate of Dorothy Palmer. Those who walk or bicycle along the trail through this parkland and in the immediate area will note other ways that the Palmers have impacted this community, including the John and Dorothy Palmer Youth Library, the Princess Avenue Playhouse, and the historic Wellington Street Public School restoration.
C4AT has been encouraged by support for Active Transportation and the Cycling Master Plan shown by municipalities across the county, by projects like the Rail Corridor Trail and also by the increased recognition of the group. They are looking to develop their role and attract increased community involvement. Several members recently completed an in-depth day of planning for C4ATs future and they are enthusiastic about finalizing priorities and goals for the coming year at their next meeting.
The next C4AT meeting is on December 4th, 6-8pm at the St. Thomas Public Library (downstairs). New members are always welcome, and participation can be at any involvement level. For more information, visit www.activelegin.ca or www.facebook.com/pages/Citizens-4-Active-Transportation/278583798950000 or contact C4at@elginhealth.on.ca.