ERCF kicks off Essex-A’burg Greenway fundraising campaign

 

By Joel Charron

The Essex Region Conservation Foundation (ERCF) kicked off a campaign to raise funds to develop the Essex-Amherstburg Greenway.

“One of the foundation’s strategic priorities is to continue to build a regional trail network to connect people and landscapes and link our human and environmental health with a strong economy,” said ERCF president Ken Schmidt.

The goal is to create a 22-kilometer long hiking and biking trail similar to the Chrysler Canada Greenway. The cost of the trail is estimated at $750,000.

The campaign kicked off Thursday with a $25,000 donation from Caesars Windsor.

“Caesars Windsor is proud to support the Greenway initiative, encouraging Windsor-Essex residents and visitors alike to connect with the environment in a healthy, active lifestyle,” said Caesars Windsor president and CEO Kevin Leforet.

Laforet noted that the donation is one of the “numerous environmentally friendly initiatives we’ve undertaken throughout Caesars properties through the CodeGreen Campaign.

In recognition of Caesars Windsor’s donation, ERCA and the Foundation are naming the entrance to the existing Chrysler Canada Greenway on County Road 8 near Walker Road the Caesars Windsor Community Entrance.

 

Essex councilor John Scott, Caesars Windsor president and CEO Kevin Leforet, ERCF president Ken Schmidt and Essex County Warden Tom Bain reveal the new Caesars Windsor Community Entrance sign that sits on County Road 8 near Walker Road.

“Trails don’t end where municipalities end,” said Essex councilor and ERCA board member John Scott. “Trails are exceptionally well suited to help our region become more physically active. Green spaces, trails and a healthy environment directly contribute to our region getting recognized as a place of choice for people to live, visit and invest in Ontario and Canada.”

Scott and Schmidt both agreed that trails are a “vital importance to the  region.”

“This is not a passing fancy,” said Scott. “This is something that towns are investing strongly in.”

Scott noted that having trails available to the community encourages people of all ages to get out and get active.

He also mentioned that multi-use recreational trails can be used as safe transportation routes, improving the bicycle-friendliness for the community.

In a County Wide Active Transportation Study, 98 per cent of respondents indicated they would use trails if they connected towns.

Essex County Warden Tom Bain said there is a huge demand for trails.

“It’s something that we need to keep our people healthy,” said Bain.

Bain also mentioned that there is a possibility to linking trails with Chatham-Kent and Lambton County.

“Actually a lot of these plans are to link up all of Ontario with one huge pathway,” he said. “But we have to get the work done here in Essex County first.”

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