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Moraine trail system expands with $236K federal funding boost

New trail completing connection to moraine and Bayview entrance in Richmond Hill will help make the reserve area a 'regional destination,' conservation authority CEO says

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has completed a new trail project on the Oak Ridges Moraine in Richmond Hill, thanks in part to federal government funding.

Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill MP Leah Taylor Roy was on site to celebrate the trail completion March 16 and announce the more than $236,000 in federal government funding provided to the project. The project provides an additional entry point to the Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve from Bayview Avenue, completing a multi-use trail system with an additional 630 metres.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority CEO John MacKenzie said the area is a special place.

The project “is a valuable initiative that is helping to improve access to natural spaces, recreation and community services for residents and visitors to enjoy,” MacKenzie said in a news release, adding that it will support making the reserve a “regional destination.”

The funding comes from the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, a federal initiative that supports projects building new community infrastructure and revitalizing existing assets.

The project utilized modern trail-building techniques, compliant with accessibility regulations, Taylor Roy said.

“I really believe that investments like these in our green infrastructure are truly important,” she said. “They not only benefit us in the long run but in the short run in terms of people’s health and well-being.”

The funding was administered through FedDev Ontario.

The conservation authority said it would work with Richmond Hill to continue building on the trail system in the conservation area, which spans 175 hectares.

“The increase in access and activities is allowing residents and visitors to enjoy our valuable natural lands and local community services while protecting the integrity of the surrounding ecosystem,” the conservation authority said.