Planning the trail ahead & developing the rail bed as a greenway for active transportation users

Over the last six months, FOVRT appreciates the support of our network in making our collective voices heard at local municipal and county councils. Thank you.

Having said that, there has been a bend in the trail and the Friends of the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail is now looking towards the new horizon before us. We have been reflecting on how best to continue to support the development of the old CP rail bed for active transportation users.

By definition, “active transportation” is all muscle-powered activities, from walking and running to cycling -- that is all non-motorized activities. It does include electric, motor-assisted aids, such as electric wheel chairs, for those requiring assistance with mobility and/or accessibility.

With the recent motion coming out of Mississippi Mills Council, there is still a lot of work to do in realizing our vision for a recreational trail. The Lanark County administration is now developing a trail management plan that will dictate the regulations of motorized and non-motorized use of the trail, while (hopefully) acknowledging the special designation for the trail through the populated sections of Mississippi Mills.

Here are some important dates and activities to note in the months ahead:

· Jul/Aug – Lanark County administration developing trail management plan

· Aug – (tentative) MMills councillors to make a presentation on the MM Council’s motion to Lanark County Council

· Aug – news of potential grant funding to MMills and CP for paving of trail between MMills and CP

FOVRT will keep you informed of all trail news in Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place, and at the Lanark County Council.

Our core group of volunteers is also expanding its scope of inquiry to inform our network of supporters on pertinent active transportation, cycling and trail development news from within Lanark County and elsewhere in Canada. For example, we hope to be able to share great news in the months ahead:

· Sept – possible news of the OVRT selected as part of the Voyageur Cycling Route (cycle trail in eastern Ont & western Que)

· Sept – possible news of the OVRT selected as the primary route for Cycle Ontario (featured cycle trails by the Ontario Government through the Province)

There is much happening on these fronts, which could have a huge impact on the development of the trail. A recent happening was the very successful Easter Ontario Active Transportation Summit held by the Ontario Transportation Network in Carleton Place on May 31st and June 1st. It was at that event that presentations and mapping workshops took place with regard to the Voyageur Cycling Route and MTO provincial cycling network. You can find background information and outcomes of the event at the healthyllg.org website.

We trust this additional information will better inform our supporters and the interested public on the responsible development of a community asset that will support a healthier and more active citizenry. And it ties in directly to our original objective to have developed a non-motorized recreational trail through the communities of Mississippi Mills and Carleton Place that will link into existing active transportation routes through Ottawa and the greater National Capital Region.

If you know of someone who wants to be kept informed on this range of issues, please have them sign up for future news by contacting the FOVRT @ chrisg.george@gmail.com.

Also, please share the fact that FOVRT maintains a website - www.rail-trail.ca - and a Facebook page to broadcast news and views on the recreational use of the rail bed: https://www.facebook.com/OttawaValleyRailTrail/