MANITOWANING – Funding of $481,000 has been provided to the Township of Assiginack in Community Building Fund-Capital from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to address a community need by retrofitting the High Falls Park and Trail with a new barrier-free bridge and walkway to connect trails and increase accessibility, and access, for safe physical fitness activities to occur. This initiative will be completed within a year and give people in the community improved safe access to fitness programs, such as hiking, for years to come.
“The impact of this OTF grant will be a game changer for our township,” stated Dave Ham, mayor of Assiginack, in a release. ”This grant has allowed a much-needed safe High Falls trail extension to be constructed. This will make the park and trail completely accessible and we can accommodate everyone with mobility issues, and serve our community better.”
The all-inclusive accessibility is key, said Mayor Ham. By safely connecting the two sides of the High Falls trail and park areas, it will attract more new sector participants now that the trail can accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers to cross over the trail water area without being in danger.
This unique trail crossing will be a welcomed inclusion for those needing and wanting access to areas that are rarely accessible to them in Northern Ontario. This area will be fully accessible with this initiative and serves as a great example of how to plan public areas more caringly and inclusively.
“This full funding from the province, to improve the accessibility of our facility, will also allow for expanded recreational use by more user groups which in turn improves their health, which in turn improves our community’s health,” said Assiginack CAO Alton Hobbs.