Volunteer group seeks funding, professional help to finish clearing P.E.I. trails
More than three months after post-tropical storm Fiona, the cleanup of some P.E.I. trails is moving along — but the volunteer organization working to restore them says it needs funding for professional help to finish the job.
"Some of our trails, Dromore, Selkirk, Gairloch are really impacted by Fiona and it's just too much for us to deal with as volunteers" said Island Trails board president John Jamieson. "So we're hoping to get some funding from the different disaster programs so that we can actually hire contractors to go in and open those trails up for us."
The group is hoping to get up to $300,000 in provincial or federal funding to hire contractors.
Island Trails board member Bryson Guptill said it can take more than two hours to clear a half kilometre of trail. A handful of the volunteers were already certified in chainsaw operation, and several more completed training, but he says it's not enough.
"[We need] to actually hire some professionals as we get into the winter season," Guptill said. "Because it's getting more and more difficult for us to find enough volunteers to clear the trails that are in really bad shape."
Guptill said the work done by the volunteers has gone well and many of the trails maintained by the group look more recognizable.
"Some of the areas that were quite flattened, we've now cleared it back far enough that you don't see a lot of the fallen trees," he said. "It's beginning to look like a normal trail again."
One of the main trails Guptill has worked on is the Winter River Trail in York. At this point it's open, but still being improved every day.
"This trail is in good enough shape so we can just focus on making it better," Guptill said. "So this week we were trying to repair bridges because some of the bridges had railings knocked off."
There are still lots of trees to cut and brush to move, and trail users can see evidence of Fiona's damage — like piles of broken branches or downed trees — stacked to the side, buried under snow.
But even the hardest-hit parts of the trail are much better than they were just after the storm.
"We couldn't believe how bad the damage was, you're climbing over and crawling under looking for signs where the trail was," said Guptill. "It was kind of like a game of pick up sticks. You couldn't really find the trail, you couldn't sort out what was going to fall next. You would cut one tree and hope it wasn't leaning against another."
The group has been able to re-open six of the 10 woodland trails it manages. Jamieson said the group is actually further ahead than where they thought they'd be at this point in time.
"Given the damage that we had and the fact that we're a volunteer organization, we were hoping to have one trail per county open," he said. "It makes me proud of the volunteers that have put in the time."
This First Person article is written by Tait Gamble, who lives near Williams Lake, B.C. For more information about First Person stories, see the FAQ.
Dominic Cozzolino and James Dunn each scored twice as Canada defeated the Czech Republic 5-0 on Saturday in the semifinals at the world Para hockey championship in Moose Jaw, Sask.
Ferry crossings between Wood Islands, P.E.I., and Caribou, N.S., have been cancelled Sunday morning, according to an announcement by Northumberland Ferries Ltd.
The Prairies Climate Change Project is a joint initiative between CBC Edmonton and CBC Saskatchewan that focuses on weather and our changing climate. Meteorologist Christy Climenhaga brings her expert voice to the conversation to help explain weather phenomena and climate change and how they impact everyday life.
Wendy Bahm and her husband have owned their ranch for over 40 years. Located about 45 kilometres from Fort St. John in northeastern B.C., it sits on private land and is home to approximately 200 cattle.
Since 2015, the City of Hamilton has shared the same name as the famous musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, but now the municipality and the Broadway production have a little more in common.
Andrew Buchanan, a firefighter based in Strathcona County, says he can't talk long. Wildfires are moving quickly, and there's no guarantee an alarm won't sound while he's on the line, drawing him back on the job.
Rebuilding housing in the province can start once the immediate crisis of tackling wildfires is over, says the president of the Construction Association of Nova Scotia
The creative hub at 44 Gaukel Street in downtown Kitchener, Ont., turned out to be everything city staff envisioned when council approved $775,000 to launch the pilot project in 2018. The hub was opened a year later and quickly became known by many simply by its street address: 44 Gaukel.
It's a piece of Canadian Indigenous history — and an effort is underway to ensure the 88-year-old Arctic fur-trading ship, called the North Star of Herschel Island, stays in Canada.
Canada's chief electoral officer is planning talks this fall with federal parties to discuss riding nomination races — which may have been targeted for manipulation on at least one occasion by Beijing.