MORRISBURG – With increasing popularity in day-use conservation areas, drawing people from Cornwall and Ottawa, the local authority overseeing those places is planning more upgrades this year.
South Nation Conservation Authority (CA) Property Management Lead Jim Hendry outlined its plans for upgrades to the conservation areas within the municipality to South Dundas to the municipal council Tuesday night.
The Two Creeks Conservation Area on County Road 2 between Morrisburg and Iroquois has 4.5 kilometers of walking trails.
Hendry told council it was a busy 2014 with a couple of boardwalks built in low-lying, flood prone areas that has given the 200 acre site a “boardwalk-ish look.”
He says regular trail maintenance will continue this year, including raising some of the trails in low-lying areas.
There will also be some ditch work. “We have to get approvals from Fisheries and Oceans for that work but it will move the water off of it (the trail) and allow a greater visitor experience,” he told council.
The 130 acre Robert Graham Conservation Area, two kilometers west of Glen Stewart on the south side of County Road 18, has 6.5 kilometers of trails.
Hendry says the Robert Graham CA is also part of a logging plan. He says people will notice yellow paint on trees that will be cut down in 2017 or 2018. “All of our parks are working forests so they provide to the public and also contribute on the balance sheet for long term sustainability,” he said. Some red oaks, planted during the Great Ice Storm of ’98, will be pruned.
Something that is gone and not coming back is an outhouse (privy) at Robert Graham. “There was a privy there (in 2014) and we decommissioned the privy…and we will not be replacing it,” Hendry said, as the day use park doesn’t have enough traffic to warrant it.
He also thanked council for the donation of the Williamsburg Forest in 2014, a 400 acre site. “We’ve signed the property and done an inventory (of the trees on site).” Hendry says there are no plans to develop the property this year.
The conversation authority says traffic at their 15 day-use areas in the region has increased 24 per cent over the past two years. “That’s very significant. It certainly shows that people are starting to use it more,” Hendry said. The traffic is monitored either by car counters at the parking entrances or by using hidden, trail-mounted laser counters.
The South Nation Conservation Authority covers an area from Brockville to Ault Island and north to Ottawa and northeast to Hawkesbury.