The Weather Network
May. 18, 2022 | Wednesday
Editorials and Opinions
Editorial: Listen to residents about heritage trail

Like many other residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake, we were disappointed to hear the town had cut down a slew of healthy trees along the Upper Canada Heritage Trail, all to get one dead tree out.

It seems a waste and we’re left questioning why another option wasn’t explored.

But beyond that, it seems there was some oversight with regards to town staff’s decision to move forward with the culling without first consulting the town’s own committee that’s been assigned to restore and (hopefully) improve the trail, which is used daily by area residents.

The town should have at least consulted with the committee to make sure any plans to alter the trail lined up with plans for its development.

After all, residents and businesses have been donating to this cause, and to the committee’s efforts.

We’re glad to hear the cutting has been put on hold for now and consultation will be done in the future with people who are trying to better the trail.

We’re also glad to hear the mess that was left along the trail is going to be cleaned up. Because it looked bad, like a destruction zone.

But through our investigation of the incident, we also became aware that many residents along the trail don’t want to see it developed at all. They’d prefer to let it continue to be a natural walking trail, rather than a gravel path that could potentially become a hot bed for tourists on bikes.

That’s understandable. And we hope those concerns are taken into account when the trail committee is making its decisions.

We would not like to see over-zealous action by the committee, that residents don’t actually want or need.

That would be ironic, considering the name is the Upper Canada Heritage Trail, and the goal is to preserve history, not reinvent the trail.

Looking to some other walking paths in NOTL, particularly in the Glendale area at Niagara College, we see it’s possible to maintain a grassy trail, with overhanging foliage.

Why not involve members of Niagara College’s horticulture program to oversee and maintain the trail?

It would be cost-effective, would offer a new space for students to hone their skills and would lend itself to what residents living near the trail want to see.

And please, don’t cut down any more trees. It’s clear NOTL residents want them to remain.