Otonabee Conservation plans makeovers at four parks

·2 min read

Improvements to parks and conservation areas in Peterborough County, including new accessible washrooms, picnic shelters, bridge repairs and more accessible trails, will be possible through new federal government funding announced this week.

Otonabee Conservation is receiving more than $1 million to upgrade projects in four areas in the Otonabee River watershed — the Jackson Creek Trail, Harold Town Conservation Area, Warsaw Caves and Selwyn Beach.

“These improvements will provide a more enjoyable and inclusive outdoor experience for residents and visitors to our watershed that would not be possible without this funding,” said Ryan Huntley, chair of the Otonabee Conservation board of directors, in a release.

“We are grateful for this commitment to conservation areas and trails in our watershed.”

Otonabee Conservation will receive financing from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) toward the projects.

Funds from the Canada Community Revitalization Fund and the Tourism Relief Fund will reinvent and revitalize Jackson Creek Trail, Harold Town Conservation Area, Warsaw Caves and Selwyn Beach.

The funding for the Harold Town Conservation Area will increase accessibility and inclusivity of trails and add facilities such as picnic shelters and an accessible, inclusive washroom.

Through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, $524,000 was awarded to Otonabee Conservation for the revitalization of the Jackson Creek Trail. This includes bridge repairs and railing replacement, improved grading, and the addition of accessibility features.

An additional $189,000 from that fund will allow Otonabee Conservation to construct accessible and inclusive washroom facilities at the Warsaw Caves Conservation Area in Warsaw and at Selwyn Beach Conservation Area in Lakefield.

Each location will also include new signage and virtual/digital technology integration to enhance visitors’ experience and understanding of the habitat and wildlife along the trails, and to recognize First Nations heritage.

The federal government is committing funds to support communities as they recover from the pandemic, says the release. An announcement on Tuesday in Peterborough revealed more than $12.2 million for 33 projects in Peterborough city and county, the City of Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland County.

Otonabee Conservation is a community-based environmental agency that protects, restores and manages natural resources within the Otonabee River and eastern Kawartha Lakes watershed.

Established in 1959, it works with its eight local member municipalities to create a healthy, environmentally diverse watershed that improves the quality of life for residents.

The agency is one of 36 conservation authorities serving watershed areas in Ontario.

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him at bburke@metroland.com.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner

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