Lieutenant Governor opens new Kincardine cross country ski trail



By Barb McKay


A trail provides more than just an opportunity for recreation, it also connects people.


That was the takeaway message from Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, who was in Kincardine last Tuesday to open a new cross country trail at Stoney Island Conservation Area. The beginner ski trail, developed over two years by volunteers from the Kincardine Ski Club, is a project to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday.


“Congratulations,” she said during a speech to local students, dignitaries and trail volunteers at the Davidson Centre prior to the official trail opening. “If we think about connections and our physical and mental well-being and protecting the environment, then I think what you have built with this Canada 150 trail is very important.”


Dowdeswell said Canada’s trail systems show just how vast the country is and act as educational tools to teach Canadians about the country’s geography and history. Accessible trails, like the new trail at Stoney Island, she added, allow everyone to enjoy them.


Municipality of Kincardine Mayor Anne Eadie welcomed Dowdeswell and invited her to visit again.


“It is not every day that we have someone visit us who has accomplished so much in so many areas,” she said.


Dowdeswell has a connection to the nuclear industry as founding president and CEO of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. She has had long and extensive academic and political careers, the most notable posting perhaps being her appointment to lead the United Nations Environment Program in Nairobi, Kenya. Her visit to Kincardine focused on the United Nations sustainable development goal of ‘life on land’.


Following speeches, Dowdeswell accompanied members of the Kincardine Ski Club and local grades 7 and 8 students to Stoney Island to officially open the trail. She said it was important to include the students in the experience so they could see firsthand what the ski club had accomplished.


“It’s always impressive for young people to learn about volunteerism and good citizenship in the community,” she said. She said she hopes the students will not only use the trails but help care for them for years to come.


Dowdeswell unveiled a plaque created by Kincardine artist and ski club volunteer Yana Mika and cut a ribbon to officially open the cross country trail. Following the opening she met with Eadie and other community representatives at the municipal administration centre.