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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Ontario Trails News - News from trails all around Ontario

Trail News - OTC Supports Trails

Each week the OTC office or a volunteer helps make trails in Ontario better. The OTC is currently involved in many trail projects, lending a hand.
Your membership supports this work. 
Over the past few months we have helped the:
 
i) Niagara Trails Committee - The OTC has been active in Niagara region, working with the Niagara trails committee, the region, and the individual cities of Port Colborne, Welland, and Thorold. The situation had progressed to the point where the three cities in the Seaway are prepared to negotiate a lease with the trails committee to manage the section of trail the region and Welland suspended their portion of the lease. The OTC has connected its lawyer with the committee to completing Corporation. The date for negotiations we forwarded by the committee to the OTC. They are very grateful for help.
II) Toronto Trails Committee - met with counselor Denzil Minnan-Wong, offered staff support to the committee. Met with Scott Laver and Karen Sun with Toronto parks and forestry, they are supportive and a draft terms of reference is being reviewed. Work continues with cycle Toronto and their trail committee to synchronize projects and the relationship between cyclists and the city. Working with the Cycle Toronto Trails Committee to look at a Toronto Trails Committee meeting and trail issues at the 401 and Yonge Under Pass
iii) Ontario Place Revitalization: have participated in one face-to-face and two conference calls regarding the provinces revitalization of Ontario Place. Have made comment on access, management, use, design, nimby, relationship the neighborhood, relationship to the exhibition, trail naming process and presentation material content.

Expect a call from an OTC Board Member - we want you back and we want your feedback! 

iv)  Akwasasnae, Renfrew, North Dumfries – RFP’s: working with some groups the OTC office has lent my personal and OTC support to projects in Akwasasnae, me Renfrew and North Dumfries. The Renfrew RFP has been posted to Google drive us reference.
v)  Hamilton Burlington Trails Committee: have participated in one face-to-face meeting and two conference calls, and will be in a face-to-face meeting with this committee on January 29. New relationships with Royal Botanical Gardens in the city of Hamilton are very, very promising, hoping for new memberships in. This committee and McMaster University have applied to host trailhead 2014 (as back-up) or Trailhead 2015. Work continues to facilitate trails connectivity between waterfront, Pan-Am games, the City and Key points.
vi) Website: have worked to secure contractors, manage contractors, manage outcomes, of the various elements of the website refresh. These people will be doing a run through as part of the January 28 board meeting. Website refresh to be live soon. Our website is ranked in hte top 3% of websites worldwide, and gets about 1,000,000 UNIQUE visitors a year.
vii) Horse Help Canada: wrote a grant with the HEAL program out of Campbellcroft Ontario, for November 1 Ontario Trillium Foundation funding - site visit by OTF moved to February 5th. OTC will be on site to assist this community program.
viii) Georgian Bay Coastal Trail: developed an on-line strategic assessment document for this trail committee. Collated and analysed survey results, presented a one day Board Staff think tank, produced an outcome report and have managed to guide staff and board with input since completion assisting them with their organizational development.
Your Membership funds our travel, expertise and guidance.

viii) Communications - each week's newsletter is produced on Thursday, Trailwise, each is circulated to about 850 people. This also includes amendments to the e-mail distribution list as people request to be added or removed. We cover a wide rage of topics about trails.
ix) Daily work - Each day there's daily work on the website, Trailhead Ontario pages, Facebook, Twitter and blog accounts. Every day people recirculate information we distribute.
x) Ontario Trails Strategy - the OTC attended all meetings of the Ontario trails strategy including the aboriginal sessions. Our commentary included discussion about the occupiers liability act (and follow-up conference call), liability, white paper or trails master plan for the province, the reassessment the nature of trail conflict, when it's really about a lack of capacity and competition for available space - i.e. fund for development; a project inventory; regulation easement; tax breaks; and ongoing meeting process; and management process for the 51 challenges were what we called for.

xi) Ontario Trails Coordinating Committee meeting - the meeting was held in Toronto on December 12, document attached on the Google drive for reference - the focus of the meeting was the outcome report they provided from the consultations. Attached the Google drive for reference, importantly the ministry has developed a management structure, seeing three pillars of engagement with the community to tackle the 51 challenges. I could not be more pleased as this reflects the 4 committee structure, OTC recommended to the Ministry in 2005. The Ontario Trails Coordinating Committee will be smaller, and function similar to the way the OTC Board of Directors functions. Members of the trails community will be called in at committee level on specific issues. This is happening already with the OLA conference calls and the Ontario Place Revitalization Project. Next meeting is to be held in the spring.
We also manage the education program, youth program funding and are looking at our advocacy, communication and supports every day! Thank You.
 
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