Apples, cherries, haskaps, goji berries, raspberries and buckthorn berries are among the edible delights community members can get a taste of when visiting the Burton Lake Grand Trail in-season.
The Humboldt Community Trails committee announced the opening of the trail on Oct. 4 which included unveiling of the donor sign recognizing the contribution from Tree Canada.
Work has been underway for a number of years at the north end of the city, with long-term plans including connecting the trail to existing routes including Water Ridge Park, as well as creating a loop at the end of the grand trail after six kilometres – which currently ends abruptly at a highway.
Kelvin Kelly, community adviser with Tree Canada, was present at the unveiling. Tree Canada supplied the 200 young edible trees and shrubs over 75 metres of the trail along with a sponsorship with U-Haul.
“It’s going to be a huge attraction to both the community and the wildlife community here,” Kelly said. “It looks very successful and I’m looking forward to walking down the trail here and seeing how it’s going to benefit both the community and environment.”
Michael Ulriksen, Humboldt’s director of community and leisure services, said high on their priority list is to work on the entrance path off of Fourth Street which they hope to develop next year.
Currently, community members who visit the spot can access the trail from a grass path through the trees off of the north end of Fourth Street where the water lift station is.
“Some of the smaller connection pieces we want to be able to connect to the trail here first thing next year off 4th Street and coming in here establishing it as an obvious trail,” Ulriksen said.
“This one won’t connect to Water Ridge for the next little while. We are touching base with the golf course and figuring out how we can work through their space there and connect those two together.”
Coun. Roger Nordick said the project has been a highlight since it was brought forward years ago with the unveiling of the community plan.
“This was by far the key initiative the community was looking forward to, the continuation of trying to build that, so we’ve been working on that the last few years,” Nordick said.
He added the various edible trees and shrubs are expected to create a windbreak for the trail, more colours during fall, and a place for both people and animals to grab a snack.
“We want to get people out on the trails, more active and they can stop and have a snack there once in a while when the apples are growing, so it’s going to be pretty sweet,” Nordick said. “We know there’s going to be a certain amount of fruit that’s going to be taken by the animals, and we’re fine with that.”
Nordick said he’s personally excited to see some deer.
“If somebody could be going down the trail and see some Bambis here crewing on an apple, well that would be just an awesome picture.”
Jessica Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal