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Wedgeport trail ‘something we can all be very proud of’

Participants in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Wedgeport Nature Trail and Starlight Platform Sept. 23 (from left) trail committee chair Ellen Cottreau, Argyle-Barrington MLA Chris d’Entremont, West Nova MP Colin Fraser and Argyle municipal council member Nicole Albright.
Participants in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Wedgeport Nature Trail and Starlight Platform Sept. 23 (from left) trail committee chair Ellen Cottreau, Argyle-Barrington MLA Chris d’Entremont, West Nova MP Colin Fraser and Argyle municipal council member Nicole Albright.

WEDGEPORT -- Organizers of the grand opening of the Wedgeport Nature Trail and Starlight Platform could not have asked for better weather for the ceremony, which was held Saturday in conditions that felt more like mid-summer than early fall.

Yarmouth County astronomer Tim Doucette (left) chats with some of the people who were involved in the Wedgeport trail project Saturday, Sept. 23, moments after the official opening of the trail and a starlight-viewing platform.

The trail committee -- a committee of Wedgeport's Tuna Museum -- has worked to rejuvenate the trail and make it more accessible. Efforts were made too to restore local historical names and, given the growing interest in the area’s dark skies, a starlight-viewing platform was developed.

The platform area will serve as a picnic area during daylight hours. Benches and picnic tables are to be installed, guests attending the grand opening were told. (The platform’s first phase was just finished the week before the opening ceremony.)

All three levels of government contributed to the trail project and representatives of each were on hand for the Sept. 23 ceremony.

“I just want to congratulate the trail committee, all the volunteers, the whole community, for everything you’ve done to make this project a reality,” said West Nova MP Colin Fraser. “It’s something we can all be very proud of.”

He spoke of the importance of tourism, saying the Wedgeport trail/platform is another attraction for visitors to check out.

Like Fraser, Argyle-Barrington MLA Chris d’Entremont spoke of the project’s potential to attract people, saying, “It’s going to be a real draw, I think, for the whole community, for the whole municipality.” He said he hopes many people will visit the trail and view the area’s nature and beauty.

“This trail’s been here a long time and I hope that, with this reinvigorated trail (and) with this starlight platform, we can continue to work together to keep it going, because I think it’s something that should be here for generations for people to enjoy.”

Nicole Albright, an Argyle municipal council member and chair of Argyle’s recreation commission, said the project goes well with the municipality’s active living plan.

“This trail is another link that will encourage people to be active, so thank you for your hard work,” she said.

The viewing platform, meanwhile, she said, will help the municipality develop its potential as a place to visit for those looking for a great view of the night sky.

The trail and starlight platform were a community effort involving many people, businesses and organizations, said Verna Wirth, a member of the project committee. The group is grateful for everyone who chipped in, she said.

“We were thrilled,” she said. “We got really good support.”

About the trail:

--The Wedgeport Nature Trail is a 5.1-km trail that was inaugurated in 1994.

--The Wedgeport tuna museum lacked funds for ongoing trail maintenance.

--In more recent years, a group of like-minded people received the museum’s support to form a committee to pursue a number of goals, including the trail’s rejuvenation and the creation of a starlight platform.

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