Another local link to the Trans Canada Trail has been completed.
On Sept. 19th, trail lovers and dignitaries gathered at the Abbey Centre to officially open the latest link of the Trans Canada Trail at the Abbey Centre in Blackfalds, the only indoor link of the nation-wide trail in the country.
This new link completes the trails connecting Blackfalds to Lacombe and Red Deer and as former Central Alberta Regional Trail Society (CARTS) President Debbie Olsen commented, will eventually connect to the entire nation.
“Eventually, it will connect Central Albertans with the rest of the country as well,” said Olsen. “So it really is an exciting thing.”
Current CARTS President Paul Pettypiece agreed.
“It is indeed a pleasure to be here today to see this exciting development come to fruition and have this grand opening,” said Pettypiece.
In addition to Olsen and Pettypiece, several other dignitaries made addresses at the opening, including MLA Rod Fox, Lacombe Mayor Steve Christie, Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law and of course Blackfalds Mayor Melodie Stol.
Many of the speakers commented on the uniqueness of the trail with Fox commenting that the indoor link was the only one in the country.
Other speakers, like Law commented on the strong partnerships that made the trail link a reality.
“This connectivity highlights how much each community works together with its neighbours to develop one continuous trail,” said Law. “Lacombe County is proud to be a neighbour of Blackfalds and this trail is one example of our continuous partnership of working together to achieve a common goal.”
Christie had similar feelings to express. “This trail supplies and provides yet another connection between our communities that regional collaboration is alive and well right here in Central Alberta.”
During Stol’s address, she revealed that a sponsor for the Trans Canada Trail link at the Abbey Centre had been found with Krest Homes stepping up to donate $100,000 to the Town of Blackfalds.
“I get to announce something very special today,” said Stol. “I’m just so thrilled today to announce that sponsorship has come forward.”
After the speeches there was a ribbon cutting ceremony where the trail was declared officially open followed by a cake cutting and celebratory luncheon.
Following the formal program, Law, Christie and Stol continued to speak of how important regional partnerships and collaboration were to the completion of this project.
“I don’t think you can do anything like this on your own,” said Stol.
Law agreed. “You know, we can all choose to do things individually,” said Law. “But we can do bigger and better and greater things if we choose to work with partnership and cooperation and this is a prime example of it.”
Christie said what’s also important is recognition of the user-ship and the advantages of having something like this in their communities.
“User-ship from not only our own communities but bringing people from other communities into our region is very, very important to us so if we can work together to make that happen it just works out great.”