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Old 01-23-2013
Leslie Mancell Leslie Mancell is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Tilbury E. Twp
Posts: 267
Default Merlin Conservation Area trail receives funding

An aerial photograph of Merlin showing where a trail will be constructed on the grounds of the former Merlin District High School (shown with a dashed line). The area is immediately south of Merlin Public School property.

A walking trail will be constructed this year at the Merlin Conservation Area thanks to a federal government grant through the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund.
The conservation area is located on the grounds of the former Merlin District High School. It was donated to the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority by former owner Jack Peltier.
On Jan. 22, conservation authority staff and Chatham-Kent-Essex MP Dave Van Kesteren announced $24,298 in funding that will be used not only in Merlin, but for a trail at the Big O Conservation Area in Comber in the Town of Lakeshore.
Randall Van Wagner, environmental project coordinator with the LTCVA, said the seven-acre property in Merlin has already seen improvements through the establishment of a memorial forest in cooperation with the Secord & Smith Funeral Home.
The new trails will have a crushed limestone surface that will allow for wheelchair accessibility.
Van Wagner noted the trails will be welcome in Merlin, and will fit in nicely with the adjacent Merlin Public School. He said students already cut through the area on their way to and from school, so it's a good fit.
The Big O Conservation Area, which is about twice the size of the Merlin property, is noted for its bird-watching opportunities. Since Essex County has few areas of tree cover, the conservation area's position on a migration route north of Point Pelee and its proximity to treatment lagoons, which attract the insects craved by birds, bring in birders from across Southwestern Ontario and from Michigan.
Brian King, a Chatham-Kent councillor who is chair of the LTVCA, said the improvements at Big O will mostly involve providing a parking lot for visitors, as well as the trail.

Last edited by Leslie Mancell; 01-23-2013 at 01:36 PM.
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