YARMOUTH COUNTY - Volunteers of all ages help support the maintenance of the 87-kilometre rail trail that the Yarmouth County Trail Development Association oversees from Norwood to Charlesville.
Last fall, the organization launched a fundraiser to purchase a tractor for the work that was previously done by a septuagenarian.
“For about 10 years we had a volunteer, Dan Burke with his tractor,” said association president Ron Day.
“I imagine he was working 20 hours a week on the trail. We would pick up the repair costs and the fuel, etc. He started in his early 70s and continued until his early 80s, when he passed away. He would be out there working in all sorts of weather.”
After Burke passed away, the work was contracted out, but there was a problem with the size and performance of the grader. Gravel was not being pulled in from the outside edges of the trail and redistributed. One of the association’s volunteers developed one grader to do the job behind a tractor and another that could be hauled behind an ATV.
But there was still the problem of no tractor.
Fundraising for a $20,000 machine began last fall with calls to individuals and businesses.
“The process is still ongoing, we haven’t collected all the funds yet,” said Day.
In the past, the association has contracted to have grass-cutting along the trail done once a year, at a cost of about $7,000 - $8,000.
“We just don’t have that sum of money available to us,” Day said.
“We’ll be able to do the grading and cut the grass in the high-use areas (with the tractor) two or three times a year.”
How to help
Contact Ron Day at (902) 761-3081