Island Trails is supported by members like you! GET INVOLVED

News

The Island Walk

Posted on November 26, 2019

https://arcg.is/DKDKf

This is the official map of our 700 km Island Walk.  A book is in the works – it should be available soon.

Walk Around the Island

Posted on November 14, 2019

We did it!  Walk Around the Island covered 704 km over 31 days.  There are also a couple of nice articles on the walk in the Guardian, the Eastern Graphic and the CBC web site.  Here are links to two of the articles:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-bryson-guptill-hike-around-island-1.5339572

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/p-e-i-man-finishes-test-hike-of-walking-trail-circling-the-island-1.5345713

Island Trails AGM

Posted on November 13, 2019

Island Trails AGM

Bonshaw Community Hall, Bonshaw, PE

November 13, 2019

 

Directors Present    Greg McKee (President), Sara Deveau (Vice-President), Steve Lowe (Treasurer), Cathy Schaap (Past President), Bryson Guptill (Secretary), Barb Trainor, Ken Miller, Debbie Gallant, Brian Breneman, Ryan Ross, Leo Gill

Absent    Thor Christensen, Kevin Taylor, Andy Smith

 

 

  • Call to Order:  Greg McKee called the meeting to order and welcomed all participants to the Island Trails AGM.  Approximately 30 people were in attendance, including several new Island Trails members.

 

 

 

  • Confirmation of Quorum.  Cathy Schaap verified that we had a quorum.

 

 

 

  • Approval of the Agenda.  The agenda for the meeting was tabled by Greg McKee and approved.

 

 

 

  • Minutes of the 2018 AGM.  The minutes of the last AGM were tabled and approved.

 

 

 

  • Business Arising from the Minutes.  Greg McKee highlighted that the Island Trails constitution was revised at the last AGM.  Article 1 of the Constitution now reads that the object and purpose of Island Trails is to provide leadership in encouraging the designation and development of a network of recreational trails for non-motorized use throughout Prince Edward Island.

 

 

 

  • DEVUP, Nicholas MacLeod.   Nick MacLeod gave a short presentation on our new website.  Our website has been modernized to focus on things people are looking for when they search for Island Trails.  The site has been optimized for phone and laptop, and much of the information can be easily edited using WordPress editors.  This gives Island Trails much more control over content. With better content in mind, the new website includes accurate maps of our 8 woodland trails plus other trails not maintained by Island Trails.  A new feature is a section on trail condition which will need to be monitored and updated on a regular basis. Greg thanked Nick for his report, and for the great work DEVUP has done on this project. He also mentioned that DEVUP did this work on a pro bono basis, which was very generous.  Several members subsequently thanked Nick for his work.

 

 

 

  •  President’s Report.  Greg mentioned that this was Island Trails 25th Anniversary and that a great deal had been accomplished over the past 25 years, especially the development of the Confederation Trail and the establishment of the Woodland Trails.  He thanked Brian Breneman for leading efforts to clear trees after Post-Tropical Storm Dorian. He thanked Ken Miller for the deck Ken prepared which will form the basis of future presentations to government.  He also thanked Ken and Leo for the work they are doing with Gary Schneider to develop new trails on the Selkirk Road. He thanked Cathy for work she is doing with the Canadian Trails Federation and the ongoing contribution of Barb makes to maintaining our relationship with the Trans Canada Trail.  A special honour was Island Trails being awarded the Parks Canada sustainable tourism award at the TIAPEI annual awards banquet. Greg’s report was accepted by the members.

 

 

 

  • Report on the Trans Canada Trail.  Barb gave her report on the Trans Canada Trail (TCT).  Highlights included the strong letter of support the TCT sent to the Premier concerning the Confederation Trail remaining a greenway in perpetuity.  The Premier wrote back to the TCT and committed to consulting with the TCT and Island Trails before any changes are made to the use of the trail by motorized vehicles, especially ATV’s.  Barb stated that the TCT has committed $285k for the Fullerton’s Marsh crossing of the Confederation Trail, $60k for improvements to the Lake Verde section of the trail, and $50k for additional stone dust for Confederation Trail surfacing.  These commitments will take effect in the 2020 fiscal year. Barb’s report was accepted by the members present.

 

 

 

  • Treasurer’s Report.  Steve reported that revenues totalled $19,748 during the fiscal year ending April 30, 2019. Expenses were $8,240, leaving a surplus of $11,508 for the year.  Our bank balance at the end of the fiscal year was $29,758, our GIC balance was $10,000 and our trust fund balance was $65,148. We have had expenses since April, but we have not received any significant government funding in the past few months.  We do have financial needs, so a source of funds must be identified if we are to continue our good work going forward. Steve’s report was accepted by the members.

 

 

 

  •  Election of Officers, Nominating Committee.  Cathy reported that Island Trails was expanding its Board in 2019.  None of our current Board members are stepping down, but three new members were being put forward for approval.  The three new members are Michael Salter, Theresa Redmond, and Nora Wotton. These members accepted the nominations and they were confirmed by members present.

 

 

 

  •   Bryson gave a presentation on Walk Around the Island which had recently been completed.  The walk, which utilized existing trails and roads around the Island, totalled 704 km. Bryson, Nora, Marian Grant and Dan Grant completed the journey over a period of 31 days. Island Trails provided financial support of approximately $1,200 ($2,000 had been budgeted for the project).  A great deal of good will was created by the walk, and many new walkers joined for parts of the journey. Articles appeared in the Eastern Graphic, the Guardian and on CBC Compass and Island Morning. It is hoped that the trail will become popular with long distances walkers in the future.  A book and a map are currently being developed and will be shared once they are available. 

 

 

 

  •  Adjournment

 

 

Board Meeting which followed the AGM

Greg chaired a short Board meeting after the AGM was adjourned.  He thanked the members of the Board for agreeing to stay in their current roles for the next year.  He also welcomed Michael, Theresa and Nora to the Board. The next Board meeting will be held on December 5, 2019 at Ravenwood (15 Crown Drive, Charlottetown) at 7:00pm.

Opinion On ATV Crossings

Posted on August 7, 2019

Letter to the Editor – Proposed ATV crossings on the Confederation Trail

Prince Edward Island’s Confederation Trail is one of the jewels in the crown that is Canada’s Great Trail. Classified as a continuous greenway, it is the envy of others where trails are not defined as non-motorized. What we have on PEI is a tremendous resource treasured not only by Islanders, but also those visiting the Island.

Soft-adventure tourism is on the rise, and with that is an increased interest in both hiking and bicycling.  The individuals and families who take part in this activity love not only the high quality of our trails, but also the beauty, and serenity that surrounds you as you move along the trail.

Unfortunately, this may be impacted if Minister Stephen Myers successfully proceeds, as he has stated, with introducing legislation this Fall to allow a pilot for multiple all-terrain-vehicle (ATV) crossing points on the Confederation Trail. Although one may be sympathetic to the cause of the ATV Federation in wishing to expand their network of trails, this would be a step backwards for the Confederation Trail, and for Prince Edward Island.

Among the concerns are: 1/ Safety at the crossing points – potentially high speed motorized traffic and pedestrian or bicycle traffic is not a good mix; 2/ Damage to the trail – motorized vehicles create ruts and may cause significant damage creating difficulty particularly for bicycles; 3/ Impact on Tranquility – people are not drawn to the Confederation Trail to experience either the noise or the dust that comes from ATV operation.

While any one of these reasons is significant, perhaps the greatest concern of all is that of potential policy-creep – once the door is opened, it can become a very slippery slope. Even now, while there is an absolute restriction on motorized use, most frequent trail users have at least once experienced ATV’s disrespectfully roaring down the trail itself. While it is understood that this is certainly not condoned by either the Provincial Government, or the ATV Federation, it happens increasingly, and this is worrisome.

It is important to note that previous administrations of the Government of Prince Edward Island, in accepting significant capital investment from both the Great Trail and the Weston Foundation, have agreed to designating and maintaining the Confederation Trail as a continuous greenway. The current proposal by Minister Myers at the very least violates the spirit of this commitment.

Additionally, it would not appear to be a good faith move to have already decided, as he has indicated in a recent CBC interview, to table legislation in advance of a fulsome consultation, and seemingly do so based singularly on the lobby interests of just one party to this issue. Perhaps in announcing his view of a “big opportunity in ATV tourism”, Mr. Myers, as Minister of Transportation, is not fully aware that the tourism industry (TIAPEI) itself, in its “Vision 2021” plan, clearly identifies “soft adventure” tourism as a major initiative, and stresses in detail the importance of offering visitors experiences in PEI’s pristine, natural, and tranquil environment.

Even if one accepts the notion of an ATV tourism opportunity, at what cost would it come – there is certainly much potential for negative impact to the natural essence of the Confederation Trail, and its associated tourism.

It is my hope that citizens speak up, voice their concerns to their MLAs, and bring a halt to this ill-advised proposal before it is too late – once lost, it will be extremely difficult to re-gain what we have today !

Greg McKee

President, Island Trails