Matthew Russell, secretary of the newly-formed Scallion Creek Trail Committee, presented a proposal to Town of Virden Council during the recent regular meeting at Tundra Oil & Gas Place.
A two-phase effort is planned to rejuvenate and expand the walking trails along Scallion Creek, running from Raglan Street to Nelson Street and eventually following the creek all the way to the Queen Street bridge. In the future, benches, picnic tables and other amenities could be added, and the trail further expanded throughout the community.
“There’s a number of reasons why we wanted to do this, including pride in our community,” Russell said. “A lot of people like getting out of the house to get in some activity. It’s nice having a creek run through our community so it’s nice to be able to walk and enjoy it.”
Russell explained that the initial phase involves addressing the low-lying areas and wet spots, and placing signage to identify trail’s location and encourage its use. “We basically just want to revitalize that stretch right up to the green metal walking bridge that’s on the other side of the newly-built orchard.”
The committee is seeking the Town’s input and assistance as to how best to deal with the wet areas, as well as confirmation of the property owners whose permission will be necessary before significant work proceeds.
During the discussion, Coun. Travis Penner expressed his support for the initiative and asked if adjacent landowners had been consulted. “We have a bunch of the old paperwork and legal documents from the past,” Russell responded. We have spoken to the owners, not at a very high level, but we have at least made them aware of what we are trying to do here.”
Committee treasurer Gerry Gatey questioned the ability to work within CP Rail property on King Street, which is seen as an integral part of the project. Town-owned assets are being moved from the site, as Council has declined to pay the annual rental fee requested by the railway. Chief Administrative Officer Rhonda Stewart indicated that Town staff will be moving the items, but the objective is to keep them within the same area. “I have sent back Council’s reply (to CP), along with pictures of some of the company’s other property in Town, particularly the lot on Sixth (Avenue) across from the Alexandra Hotel, and haven’t got a response back,” Stewart said.
Council expressed its support, and passed a motion making the Scallion Creek Trail Committee officially a committee of the Town. Stewart referred Russell to Public Works Foreman Maurice Kernel and Tracy Howard, Manager of Parks and Recreation, for further consultation regarding site work and applying for grants.