It was encouraging to read a story in last week’s paper that demonstrates the dual and related spirits of cooperation and community improvement.
The Manitoulin Tourism Association (MTA) has for more then a half century managed the famous Cup and Saucer hiking trails. Over the years, the trails have been improved, even lengthened, and about 25 years ago an optional, somewhat more challenging adventure trail was added.
This endeavour has always been a cooperation effort for when one is hiking the Cup and Saucer trails, one is using property owned by two local construction companies and the parking lot and entrance are in fact located on property owned by one of these, Don Eadie Construction.
In addition, the Northeast Town provided new entranceway signage recently and also empties garbage containers in the parking lot so they, too, are part of the cooperative model as is the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere which purchased adjacent property several years ago, adding further trails to the mix.
The story last week brought in a new player: Wikemikong Tourism staff, when asked to help by the MTA management, set about a spring cleaning of the trail system.
The crew come as volunteers and, by all accounts, did a first rate job of putting the trail system in top form for the busy summer months ahead.
They did so, according to Wikwemikong Tourism manager Luke Wassegijig, because his organization recognizes the regional tourism significance of this feature and they were only too pleased to help out.
This is really a model partnership: municipal, First Nation, private sector and not for profit groups all agreeing that this is a feature that is important to everyone and so must be maintained in good order.
This isn’t a unique multi-party arrangement but it is unusual enough to merit positive comment.
Well done everyone.