Newsletter June 2012

Urban Pole Walking

Urban pole walking, also known as Nordic walking, is a relatively new form of walking that has become very popular. When done properly, it looks like a cross between cross-country skiing and walking. It is a technique that is not difficult to learn and adds an extra cardiovascular workout to your walk.

Your heart rate is increased when walking with poles, as you are making better use of your arms. You use up to 90% of your muscles and reduce impact on hip and knee joints.

Using poles makes you more aware of your posture, and people tend to walk taller. Best of all, this full body workout helps you to burn up to 40% more calories than walking without poles! Norfolk County has two certified instructors to assist you and poles are available. For more information please contact Ingrid at Norfolk County Community Services, Recreation Division at 519-426-8866 Ext.2303 or [email protected]. Happy walking!

Submitted by Ingrid Zyma-Irvin

Mark your calendars!

Rail Trail bike’n’hike

Sunday, June 10th from 10a.m. to 3p.m. Hike or bike any part of the rail trail system between Port Dover and Mount Pleasant. Food available to purchase in support of Alzheimer’s Society. 519-428-7771

Open Streets

Downtown Simcoe, Saturday, June 30th from 11a.m. to 3p.m. Robinson Street. 519-426-5870

Trail Talk

Norfolk County is fortunate to have many amazing trails and points of interest. The Community Services Department, Recreation Division offers a Discover Norfolk Walking Club. The club meets at various trails throughout the County each Thursday evening, from May to October, between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm, and walkers enjoy friendship and a great walking experience. This free walk is open to all, first time walkers or long time hikers. Every walk covers different terrain but appeals to all skill levels. Urban poles are available to add some variety to your walk.

Norfolk County joins Parks and Recreation Ontario [PRO] yearly to offer special events during the month of June for Recreation and Parks month. This year we are again offering many free, try-it events such as geo-caching, lawn bowling, sailing and fitness classes including belly dance, zumba, belly fit and aerobics. We are having a family day at Waterford Ponds and a fun day at Kinsmen pool in Delhi.

Pick up your Discover Norfolk Walking Club guide at the Simcoe Recreation Centre [or visit our Events page] and watch for the June Parks and Recreation calendar. Additional information is available by contacting 519-426-8866 Ext 2303 or [email protected].

Submitted by Ingrid Zyma-Irvin

Promoting Walkability in Norfolk County

Cancer Care Ontario’s recent report: Taking Action to Prevent Chronic Disease [2012] identifies a number of recommendations for creating a healthier Ontario. Recommendation #11 says: Strengthen the Planning Act Provincial Policy Statement on active transportation, and provide dedicated funding to municipalities for building walking and cycling infrastructure.

We’ve asked Jim McIntosh, Manager of Planning and Economic Development with Norfolk County, to share his department’s activities that support active transportation.

Given the nature of Norfolk County’s geography there are few alternatives to reliance on the automobile for personal transportation. But for where the possibility exists, planning staff are joining others in promoting urban design that incorporates walkability.

The creation of pathways can essentially happen in one of two ways, one through a public sector initiative or two, as part of land development by the private sector. In either case, awareness (understanding of the benefits) and political will are critical elements. Traditionally, growth in Norfolk County has been relatively slow and steady. One of the challenges this presents is that large comprehensive neighbourhood or “master plans” are the exception rather than the rule and connections and linkages have to be looked at one small development at a time.

The County is the approval authority for subdivisions, condominiums and site plans. Current official plan policy and design guidelines provide a basis for requesting developers to incorporate walkways and trail linkages in the design of new developments. The Planning Act provides authority to impose conditions on subdivision approvals requiring dedication of pedestrian pathways and bicycle pathways.

A basic legislative framework is in place to assist achieving goals through the development process. The next logical step for the County is to refine and enhance plans and policies for active transportation together with strategies for implementation.

The Norfolk County official plan is scheduled to undergo its mandatory review in 2013. The benefits of active transportation to individual human health and to building a great community are better understood and appreciated thanks to the efforts of groups like Pathways for People. This will help keep the issue high on the priority list as the official plan review project moves forward.

Submitted by Jim McIntosh

Follow the Rules and Share the Road

Share the Road signs were introduced in parts of Norfolk County last summer and another 25 are being installed this spring. These signs are to act as reminders to drivers and cyclists that they both have the right to be on the road – bicycles are considered vehicles under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act – and that they both have to follow the rules of the road. But what does that mean, exactly?

Cyclists need to obey all traffic laws, signs and signals. This includes riding on the right in the same direction as traffic and riding in single file, except when passing. Riders need to be predictable and use hand signals to communicate turns and stops. Wearing bright colours and using reflectors and lights are key for being seen by drivers and cyclists are to yield to pedestrians.

Drivers must respect the rights of other road users. Bicyclists and walkers are at a greater risk on the road than drivers. They are smaller, quieter and have no crumple zones. A small mistake by a driver can result in serious injury or death to a cyclist or walker.

For drivers, sharing the road with cyclists includes passing with care. Bicycles should be treated as any other slow moving vehicle and you should only pass when the road ahead is clear, giving cyclists at least one meter of space. Check over your shoulder before moving back into your travel lane to make sure you have left enough space.Drivers are to yield to bicyclists. When turning left, yield to oncoming bicyclists. Experienced riders can travel 30 to 40km/ hr and can be moving faster than you think. Do not make a right hand turn in front of bicyclists. Assume they are travelling through unless they signal otherwise.

Lastly, when out on the road do not honk your horn at cyclists. It can startle them and cause them to swerve into traffic. You can remind others to Share the Road with a bumper magnet for your car! Call the Health Unit to order: 519-426-6170 ext 3239.

Submitted by Michele Crowley

Waterford Rail Lands Redevelopment Committee

The Waterford Rail Lands Redevelopment Committee plans to invigorate the former rail lands from downtown Waterford to just beyond the Black Bridge. Our plans are ambitious and include a trail from the Waterford Heritage Trail along an abandoned railroad spur line curving under the Black Bridge and on into town.

We also have plans for a new road for fishermen, boat ramps, removal of scrub, planting of local species, fishing piers, interpretive signage, a stairway up to the Black Bridge and two bridges to span existing gaps. These bridges will allow us to join downtown with the existing trail heading North to Brantford and beyond.

We’re encouraging walking, jogging, biking, rollerblading, canoeing, kayaking, boating, fishing and bird watching for one and all. We anticipate the Black Bridge and the parkland to bustle with people from in and around the community enjoying this reclaimed resource.

Norfolk Pathways for People Members •

  • Joyce Flexman, Chairperson
  • Donna McMillan, Port Dover Enhancement Association
  • Gord Mason, Trail Advisory Committee
  • Al Ladd, Community member
  • Ruth Loughton, Community member
  • Anne Wynia, Community member
  • Rob Luke, Lynn Valley Trail
  • Ingrid Zyma-Irvin, Norfolk County Community Services Dept.
  • Janice Robertson, Long Point Region Conservation Area
  • Bruce Robinson, Community member
  • Frank Woodcock, Waterford Heritage Trail
  • Michele Crowley, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit

Interested in becoming a member of Pathways for People? Contact Michele at 519-426-6170 ext 3239.

Lynn Valley Trail

Robinson Bridge inspection crew – Al Robinson, Dan Robinson, Scott Fletcher, Gord Pennington, Malcolm Meller.

We’ve had a wonderful spring so far with great weather and our trees and wildflowers along the trail are providing colorful blooms. Some major trail brushing was completed in April to clear back smaller trees and shrubs that were infringing on our biking and walking areas of the trail. Selective cutting will be done through the summer to keep the brush in check.

Thank you goes out to two directors who recently retired, Jane Ashendon, who has dedicated 19 years to the trail executive and Bill MacDonald a four-year helper. At the same time, we welcome two new directors: Corina Bachmann and Dave Challen and look forward to their input and enthusiasm.

Dave Hockley of Hockley’s Landscaping and Tree Service recently donated and planted fifteen maple trees along the stretch of trail west of the Pennington Bridge. Dave has been a trail supporter for many years and has assisted us on numerous occasions with screening work on the trail surface.

Also, David Martin of Port Dover has donated and planted a variety of trees – oak, mountain ash and hickory – between the Pennington Bridge and St. John’s Road. Dave has offered to water and nurse these trees through their first season.

Lynn Valley Trail is much enhanced by our four railway bridges that are often taken for granted. It is enjoyable to stop on the bridges and enjoy the Lynn River below, the birds, the trees and the lovely surroundings. Like everything else, the bridges require maintenance and we recently completed a thorough inspection of the bridges in April and May to confirm their status. Our inspections confirm that repair is needed to the Robinson Bridge in the next few years and funding will be required to complete this work.

An updated trail brochure is now in print thanks to the generosity of Bachmann Personal Injury Law and will soon be available at various tourist areas and in the trail boxes.

Submitted by Paul Beischlag , LVTA President

Norfolk County Fair Contest

The Lynn Valley Trail Association sponsors a photography / drawing contest for youth at the Norfolk County Fair in October. Visit the fair office during business hours year round to pick up a fair booklet or visit their website for contest info on page 11. Money prizes of $35, $25, and $15 are quite attractive!

As one of the judges last October, I was astounded at the talent, creativity and passion of the numerous entries. It was not an easy task. Being a former art teacher, I was use to evaluating various forms of artistic endeavour but photography was new to me. Mr. Fletcher taught me the ABC’s of photography as we went along.

The primary division, ages 5 to 8, used crayon and pencil crayon to depict wonderful pictures of family fun on the trail like cycling, walking, hiking, dog-walking and bird watching.

The junior division, ages 9-12, presented us with a collection/collage of photographs depicting nature found specifically on the Lynn Valley Trail. It was easy to pick out the locations of the photos and see the beauty captured through the lens.

The intermediate/senior division, ages 13-17, presented us with single photographic images from the Lynn Valley Trail. We saw a variety of techniques used as well as a huge number of interesting locations found along the trail.

We look forward to viewing and judging the entries for 2012. Happy trails!

Submitted by Barb Boyko

2012 Slate of officers


  • President, Paul Beischlag …………………. 519-426-8591
  • Treasurer, Robert Johnston ……………… 519-428-9913
  • Secretary, Mike Davis ………………………. 519-429-3323
  • Past President, Paul Cunningham ……. 519-583-1378


  • Corina Bachmann……. 519-428-8090
  • Barb Boyko……………… 519-583-3971
  • Dave Challen…………… 519-583-1090
  • Diane Clark …………….. 519-426-0339
  • Scott Fletcher ………….. 519-426-6218
  • Rob Luke ………………… 519-428-2439
  • Malcolm Meller……….. 519-583-1124
  • Peter Munzar…………… 519-583-1101
  • Gord Pennington ……. 519-426-2676
  • Dan Robinson…………. 519-428-2487
  • Steve Tomajko ………… 519-428-2681
  • Charlie Upshall ……….. 519-583-9544