STELLARTON – Pictou County’s trail system has received new funding and a new name.
Trans-Canada Trail announced a $400,000 gift from the Sobey Foundation on Friday to finish connecting sections of what is being called the Great Trail in Pictou County.
The project will bring Nova Scotia closer to completing its portion of the Trans-Canada Trail within a year.
“We are so grateful to the Sobey Foundation for its generous investment in The Great Trail and, by extension, its commitment to improving the lives of Pictou County residents and visitors, including Sobeys employees and their families who live and work near the trail in the area,” Trans-Canada Trail president and CEO Deborah Apps said.
“Getting the trail connected in this area also brings us closer to our goal of fully connecting the Great Trail in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.
The announcement took place beside a portion of the Albion Trail in Stellarton, behind Sobeys’ head office and the Big 8 building. More than 50 people, including Sobeys employees, gathered for the event which included a walk along the trail toward where it passes underneath Highway 104.
The foundation’s funding for the trail project in Pictou County will include joining portions of trails in the towns of Pictou, Westville, Stellarton, New Glasgow and Trenton totaling 150 kilometres. It will link trails, recreation facilities and amenities along the way.
“The Sobey Foundation is pleased to support the connection of the Great Trail across Pictou County, Nova Scotia,” foundation chairman Frank Sobey said.
“The value of the trail to our community will be felt by generations of people who live and work in this county, and we’re delighted to assist in supporting an initiative that will create an important vehicle for their ongoing enjoyment and wellness.”
Trans-Canada Trail has been working since 1992 with all levels of government and Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial partners that have teamed up with local trail groups to develop the trail system, including Active Pictou County and its partnership with the six local municipalities.
TCT’s mission is to educate residents to increase their daily physical activity in an effort to create a healthier, more active community.
“We’re seeing volunteers of all ages take part in building and taking care of trails in Pictou County,” Active Pictou County co-ordinator Sally O’Neill said. “The Great Trail means so much to our local communities, to be part of such a grand thing.”
Active Pictou County co-ordinator Sally O’Neill, left, and Trans-Canada Trail Foundation co-chairperson Valerie Pringle lead walkers along the Albion Trail, part of the newly named Great Trail in Pictou County. (Goodwin photo)