KIPP Trail close to reaching fundraising goal

by Barb McKay


Work on the long-awaited Kincardine to Inverhuron Provincial Park (KIPP) Trail could begin next spring.


Kincardine Trails Association (KTA) president Brad Kirkconnell said the committee has raised more than $200,000 of its $240,000 fundraising goal.


“We’ll be putting the push on in the new year because the natural gas project will be getting underway,” he said.


Construction of the KIPP Trail will happen in conjunction with natural gas line construction along Bruce Road 23. Kirkconnell said in early discussions, EPCOR, which is carrying out the natural gas project in the municipalities of Kincardine, Huron-Kinloss and Arran-Elderslie, has offered to provide in-kind contributions amounting to between $200,000 and $300,000.


Construction on the trails could begin this spring, but it will depend on the timelines for the natural gas project and when EPCOR receives its Leave to Construct from the Ontario Energy Board.


The KIPP Trail, which will stretch 12 kilometres and connect the town of Kincardine to Inverhuron and the Inverhuron Provincial Park, is expected to cost approximately $900,000. There is $275,000 in a trails bridging reserve fund to help cover the cost and the Municipality of Kincardine has committed to chipping in another $175,000. As well, the County of Bruce has pledged to provide $70,000, mostly in-kind through bridge and culvert work.


The project has garnered a significant amount of corporate and community support because of a recognized need to create a safe pedestrian and cyclist route between Kincardine and Inverhuron. On July 28, the second annual Backyard Blues concert and barbeque raised $4,000 for the trail. Alex Lloy and Rosemarie Superville hosted the event in their backyard, with help from Lee Hickling and Marlene Morrow, and were thrilled with how well it was received.


“No one hesitated – they said ‘how can we help you,’” Lloy said, once organizing of Backyard Blues got underway. “It’s been non-stop. People bought raffle tickets and made donations. Once the ball gets rolling it keeps going.”


Kincardine musician Andrew Parkhouse performed and food and prizes were donated by several local businesses. Last year, the event raised more than $2,000 and this year Lloy and Superville set out to double it.


“We hit the $4,000 mark and that was pretty exciting,” Lloy said.


“I love the trails and I love this community,” Superville said. “Everyone is so supportive, coming together for a good cause.”


Other events are planned to support the KIPP Trail project, including the third annual 7K Trail Challenge which will be held Sept. 23.