Media Release – November 19, 2021
Partners Celebrate the Completion of Longwoods Accessible Boardwalk thanks to an OTF grant
Mount Brydges (Strathroy-Caradoc) – On Friday November 19th, partners of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Foundation came together to celebrate the completion of Longwoods Accessible Boardwalk as a result of receiving a Capital Grant of a $94,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The grant was used to complete a reconstruction of a 35-year-old 1 km accessible boardwalk at Longwoods Road Conservation Area, south of Mount Brydges. Monte McNaughton, MPP for Lambton–Kent–Middlesex; Amelia Sloan, an Ontario Trillium Foundation representative; Strathroy- Caradoc Mayor Joanne Vanderheyden, contractor Lucas Michielsen of Millworks Custom Carpentry and Stone; Lower Thames Valley Conservation Foundation Directors and Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) CAO and staff attended the celebration.
MPP Monte McNaughton and OTF representative Amelia Sloan.
“As a resident of Mount Brydges, the Longwoods Boardwalk has always been a point of pride,” said MPP McNaughton. “With the renovations completed today, we’re ensuring this trail will be accessible to families, seniors, and people with disabilities, so everyone in our community can appreciate the beauty of nature in the Longwoods Conservation Area.”
The investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation for this special section of the Millstream trail provides public access to a provincially recognized significant wetland and is one of very few local trails that allows people with mobility issues to view a beautiful Carolinian forest and marshland. The boardwalk reconstruction was completed in the spring of this year, overcoming unforeseen delays resulting from the pandemic.
“This is indeed a celebration, a celebration of partners working together to provide our community an exciting and accessible walk into nature. Enjoy!” states Mark Peacock – LTVCA CAO.
“We stand here today, and we see how cooperation and working together can provide us with this accessible structure for all people in our community and beyond, to enjoy nature at its best; et y prendre plaisir.” said Dan McKillop – President of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Foundation.
Longwoods Road Conservation Area is a 155-acre property and home to the Ska-Nah-Doht Village and Museum – offering educational programming, public events,10 km of nature trails and group camping. It is one of 18 public conservation areas owned and operated by the LTVCA.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.
For further information
Bonnie Carey – LTVCA Manager Communications, Outreach and Education
Update March 4, 2021
Replacement of Accessible Marsh Boardwalk Underway! Many Partners Contribute to Longwoods Road Conservation Area’s Trail Upgrade
Mount Brydges – It’s been a little over a year since we announced that the Ontario Trillium Foundation awarded the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Foundation a $94,000 Capital grant to complete a 12-month reconstruction of a 1 km accessible boardwalk (Mill Stream Trail) at Longwoods Road Conservation Area. It’s the location of a provincially significant wetland in the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc, in Middlesex County. Plans were to have the 35 year old boardwalk removed and the new boardwalk completed by a general contractor in time for the fall of 2020, followed by a public opening event. Then COVID-19 happened, resulting in strict safety guidelines for work sites and a shortage of construction materials.
In the meantime, lots has been happening with the project since late February of 2020, despite the setbacks presented by the pandemic. The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) agreed to provide some additional financial support to cover increasing costs. And with the helping hands of individuals working on Oneida Job Development and Ontario Job Creation projects, under the guidance of LTVCA’s Eastern District Supervisor – Vance Stark, the old boardwalk platform was removed.
The new boardwalk construction was awarded to Lucas Michielsen and his Parkhill company “Millworks Custom Carpentry and Stone” (millworksccs). They assumed site responsibility for the installation of the helical piles last year. Michielsen and his crew were at Longwoods yesterday, prepping for the boardwalk construction, being careful to not disturb the valley wall. With this construction underway, the Mill Stream Trail has been closed to the public until the work is completed. Weekly progress will be posted on our social media platforms so be sure to watch the developments! All construction is being completed to protect the environmental features and integrity of the area.
We hope to have this trail ready for public use in the next couple of months. It is one of very few trails in the area that allow students with mobility issues to join their fellow classmates in hands on learning about wetlands. It is also one of a very few places that anyone with a mobility issue/device can be fully immersed in nature. The improved trail will be available for families using strollers, allowing them to also get right down to the wetland. There is much evidence that being immersed in nature leads to improvement in overall health and there are limited opportunities for individuals with mobility issues to interact fully with nature. This trail will continue to provide an opportunity for all individuals to enjoy nature and be active, so important during these difficult times. The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations.
Media Release February 25, 2020
$94,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant Awarded to Lower Thames Valley Conservation Foundation
Mount Brydges – The Ontario Trillium Foundation has awarded the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Foundation a $94,000 Capital grant to complete a 12-month reconstruction of a 1 km accessible boardwalk at Longwoods Road Conservation Area, the location of a provincially significant wetland in the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc, Middlesex County.
Thirty-five years ago, an accessible 1 km trail was created to provide access to a provincially recognized significant wetland. This is one of very few trails in the area that allow students with mobility issues to join their fellow classmates in hands on learning about wetlands. It is also one of a very few places that anyone with a mobility issue/device can be fully immersed in nature. The improved trail would be available for families using strollers allowing them to also get right down to the wetland itself. The bridges and boardwalks are now in need of repair and replacement and some of the boardwalks need to be widened to accommodate larger power chairs. The project is needed to ensure that everyone has access to opportunities for structured and unstructured activities. There is much evidence that being immersed in nature leads to improvement in overall health and there are limited opportunities for individuals with mobility issues to interact fully with nature. The current trail provides an opportunity for all individuals to enjoy nature and be active.
We are hoping to have a completed accessible boardwalk by fall 2020. A general contractor will be selected to complete the work, with a review undertaken to minimize environmental disturbance, with boardwalks and bridges removed and replaced. An opening event will be held in the fall to showcase the renewed trail and to encourage people to use it to increase their activity levels and involvement with nature. “Lower Thames Valley Conservation Foundation is very excited to have received this capital grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation. This grant affords Lower Thames Valley Conservation Foundation in conjunction with Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, the opportunity to improve accessibility to a provincially significant wetland”, states Grant Jones – President of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Foundation.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $108 million to some 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.
- About the LTVC Foundation
- Carey Carolinian Arboretum and Trail
- Lower Thames Valley Conservation Foundation Bursary
- Save the Cabins
- Memorial Forest Program
- Donate to Conservation
- Volunteer Directors and Members
- Ontario Trillium Foundation Capital Grant for Wheelchair Accessible Boardwalk Replacement at Longwoods Road CA
- Trillium ‘Seed’ Grant – Londwoods Feasibility Study 2018-2019