Essex – Our region’s most anticipated trail project has begun, as the Essex Region Conservation Foundation (ERCF), Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) and Cypher Systems Group broke ground today on the Cypher Systems Group Greenway. Dozens of donors, trail enthusiasts, municipal and federal contributors, and other corporate partners joined in the celebration.
“Thanks to a generous and significant gift of $250,000 from Cypher Systems Group, and support from the Federal government, the Town of Essex and many corporate and individual donations, we are so thrilled to be here to celebrate the groundbreaking of this long awaited trail,” said Claire Wales, Vice President of the ERCF Board of Directors and a cycling enthusiast. “In total, the ERCF’s Trail On! Campaign has raised over $1 million to develop this trail!”
“We love this community and are happy to partner with this organization to expand the greenway and improve upon the health and quality of life in our region,” said Brian Schwab, President, Cypher Systems Group. “The ground breaking of this trail has been years in the making and we are thrilled that we could contribute to such a worthy endeavor and be a part of this exciting event.”
The abandoned rail line was first donated to the Foundation for development in 2003. This property stretches 26 kilometres, from the urban centre of Essex, to the Town of Amherstburg and intersects with the existing Chrysler Canada Greenway in McGregor. The Foundation launched its Trail On! Campaign in 2012 to raise the funds to complete the project.
“Green spaces, trails and a healthy environment directly contribute to our region being recognized as a place of choice for people to live, visit, and invest. Trails improve the communities where they are built, which is why we are so pleased to be celebrating another success with our partners,” said Ed Sleiman, ERCA Chair.
The Town of Essex took this opportunity to present a cheque for $100,000 to the project. “Strong local support and generous donations have ensured that this project became a reality. This donation from the Town of Essex shows our appreciation to ERCA and the Essex Region Conservation Foundation and helps to ensure a sustainable future for all of us,” added Essex Mayor Ron McDermott.
In addition to many corporate and individual contributors, the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program invested $500,000 in this trail project.
Completing this greenway will support active living, promote economic diversity, and provide a meaningful outdoor experience for a healthier, more sustainable community. “This a wonderful achievement to celebrate with our many supporters,” said Richard Wyma, ERCA’s General Manager and the Executive Director of the Foundation. “Moving forward, the Conservation Foundation will continue to raise funds needed to establish new community entrances and trail connections. These investments will enhance our regional tourism industry, connect us to our communities and our landscapes, ensuring the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region is the place for life.”
Pictured above (from left): Gordon Orr (TWEPI), Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale (Town of Amherstburg), Mayor Ron McDermott (Town of Essex), Claire Wales (ERCF Vice President), Richard Wyma (ERCA General Manager), Ed Sleiman (ERCA Chair), Dave Dyer (Cypher Systems Group)
Pictured below: The Town of Essex cheque presentation. From left: Councillor Steve Bjorkman, Richard Wyma, Councillor Ed Sleiman, Mayor Ron McDermott, Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche, and Claire Wales.
Danielle Breault Stuebing
Director, Communications & Outreach Services, ERCA
519-776-5209 ext.352 firstname.lastname@example.org