Bluewater Trails keeps improving heading into the fall

More resurfacing on its way as volunteer-run organization works on 'safer, more accessible' network

Tony Barrand and his wife Patricia Mancini are both avid users of the Howard Watson Trail and strong advocates of the work done by the Bluewater Trails Committee.

The Bluewater Trails organization keeps getting better and better, thanks to volunteers and leadership by people like Tony Barrand, who chairs the City of Sarnia committee.

Volunteers from the organization held two “open house” locations, one at Modeland Road and a second one at Michigan Avenue, both located where the Howard Watson Trail crosses those city streets.

Barrand explained to Lambton Shield how the organization is looking ahead with its improvements:

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The Bluewater Trails Committee, which is partially funded by Sarnia taxpayers, has also successfully raised funds from corporations, allowing it to move forward on improvements to the Howard Watson Trail, which runs from Mandaumin Road at Sarnia’s far east boundary, to Confederation.

A recent resurfacing effort that went from Mandaumin to Blackwell is being extended to Modeland Road in the near future, all part of a $220,000 grant that the City received as part of Canada 150 funding.

Contractor Sev-Con was able to significantly extend the number of kilometres of trail that could be resurfaced when it came up with the idea of using paving equipment for the job.

The idea for the Howard Watson Trail (named after a Town of Clearwater councillor who spearheaded the concept, even against much opposition), began in 1982 when the CN right of way was offered to the municipality in 1982.

Lambton Wildlife Inc. members gave support to all phases of acquiring the trail, which officially became a “linear park” in 1990, originally 12 kilometres long and six-feet wide. Some $20,000 to create the Howard Watson Trail was raised by Lambton Wildlife.

Bluewater Trails is always looking for additional help in advancing its work. Tony Barrand can be reached by e-mail at tbarrand@cogeco.ca.

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