Upgrades planned at local conservation areas

Strathroy Conservation Area. (Photo courtesy of the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority)

Several trail and facility improvements are expected to take place this summer and fall in a few areas under the jurisdiction of the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority (SCRCA).

The conservation authority recently received approximately $250,000 to go ahead with projects in the Sarnia, Middlesex, and Strathroy regions. Funding was granted through the Ontario Trillium Foundation as well as a few other contributors.

One of the projects includes the North Trail Loop at Wawanosh Wetland Conservation Area in Sarnia.

“We’re doing a 1,225 metre trail upgrade, so it’s a two metre-wide stone dust trail in our northern loop,” said SCRCA General Manager Ken Phillips. “It’s currently grass and bare soil so this will harden the trail a little bit, making it much more accessible for people.” .

Trail upgrades will also expand the path’s lifespan. Phillips said an exact date for when work will begin is unknown at this point as it depends on the contractors.

The South Trail Loop at Wawanosh Wetlands has been closed since early May and is separate from the planned upgrades.

“We had some issues with ATV use destroying the trails so we’re trying to allow [the wetlands] to regenerate itself and get in better condition and then this project is above and beyond that,” said Phillips.

Improvements are also expected to take place at Coldstream Conservation Area in Middlesex Centre, the Clark Wright Conservation Area in Strathroy, and Strathroy Conservation Area.

Phillips said nearly 1.5 kilometres of a trail at Strathroy Conservation Area will be upgraded to a stone dust trail.

Meanwhile, several improvements are also planned at Clark Wright Conservation Area and Coldstream Conservation Area.

The SCRCA said upgrades at Coldstream Conservation Area, located in Middlesex Centre, will take place throughout the month of July.

The Boardwalk Trail Loop in the southern portion of Coldstream Conservation Area closed on July 11 for about two weeks to allow for the removal and replacement of 200 metres of boardwalk. The conservation authority said the new boardwalk will be wider, have more gradual slopes, and edge protection.

The northern portion of the conservation area was also closed in early July for parking lot expansion work. The project was funded by Nature London.