SUMMERSTOWN, Ontario – The fact that there was not a cloud in the sky and no wind made you (almost) forget how cold it was last Saturday for the annual Trails Clean-up Day organized by the Friends of the Summerstown Trails (FOTST). For the record, it was minus four degrees when FOTST president Vic Leroux got the activity going at 9.00 a.m.
Speaking of records, the turnout was impressive with no less than 32 FOTST members and friends taking part in this activity. Among those were a few students from La Citadelle H.S. who came to fulfill some of their volunteer hour obligation. Unfortunately, or fortunately for the participants, they had less work to do on the trails this year. President Leroux explained that as a consequence of the COVID situation, there has been a sharp increase in the number or users at the trails in the past months. “I guess the people clear the branches off the trails as they are walking and biking the trails. The bikers are especially conscious of the eye-catchers and break them off.” assumed President Leroux.
He then went on to add that there was virtually no garbage (cans, wrappers, etc.) on the trails. “This is surprising given the increase in user traffic. I see this as a change in public mentality, with more people following the garbage in, garbage out principle.” concluded Vic Leroux. Still, the Clean-up Day is a necessary activity in order to make sure that the 20-plus kilometres of trails are made safe for the users.
With the help of health professionals, the Friends of the Summerstown Trails has adopted a COVID plan for their organized activities and events. This plan meets the requirements and recommendations of the Government of Ontario and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit. This was done in order to provide a safe environment for the FOTST volunteers and members and for all those who use the trails.
The trails are situated on Summerstown Road, 1.6 km north of exit 804 of the 401. Visit the FOTST website at www.summerstowntrails.com and Facebook page for more information.