Newsletter October 2017

Trail Talk…

This is the 20th edition of the Norfolk Pathways for People newsletter! The fall season is a great time to explore Norfolk County by bike or on foot. And it keeps getting easier and safer to do just that. There have been a number of infrastructure improvements throughout 2017. Some of the highlights include:

  • Installation of new sidewalk on Simcoe’s busy commercial Queensway from Gilbertson Drive east to the Superstore. 
  • Cockshutt Road in Waterford has paved shoulders and share the road signs from Thompson Road to Hwy 3. 
  • Swimming Pool Road in Delhi has paved shoulders, share the road signs and sharrows.
  • Long Point’s Erie Blvd has a separated shared pathway allowing for two-way walking and cycling traffic from Hwy 59 to Pike Lane. The remainder of Erie Blvd. has paved shoulders all the way to the provincial park.  
  • Pedestrian activated, solar-powered rapid flashing beacon lights have been installed on Argyle St in Simcoe, making it easier for trail users, area seniors and high school students to cross that busy street.

Accessible Beach Mat

Port Dover saw an awesome upgrade in the summer of 2017 with an accessible beach mat installed on the waterfront allowing access for individuals using a wide range of mobility devices. The mats were well used and received strong, positive reviews as the summer went along. Norfolk County has taken a progressive approach to beach access as there are many beach towns in Ontario that do not have this level of beach accessibility. The beach mat will be removed after Thanksgiving but we are excited to see everyone using it in a variety of ways next summer!

Submitted by Sam McFarlane, Supervisor, Accessibility Compliance and Customer Communications for Norfolk County

Norfolk County Community Services Department Walks 

Norfolk County will be continuing our Discover Norfolk walks during the winter and spring! 
You are invited to walk with us the first Thursday monthly from November to April, 5:30-6:30pm at various locations in the county. 
Indoor walks start in January:

  • Port Dover Community Centre – Mondays & Wednesdays
  • Simcoe Fairgrounds – Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays

For more information on these walking programs, please contact Ingrid at 519-426-6688 Ext 2303. Happy Hiking!

P4P is supporting paved shoulders on the Long Point Causeway

Norfolk County is planning to resurface the Long Point Causeway in 2018. The Causeway is one of the roads identified in the County’s Active Transportation Strategy as a key roadway with significant bicycle and automobile traffic. Paved shoulders will allow people on bicycles and in vehicles to get safely in and out of their communities. 

Due to the important ecological nature of Long Point and the surrounding wetlands, the County is conducting an Environmental Assessment in advance of the construction. The recommended design is two lanes 3.5m wide, 1.5m paved shoulders plus 1m gravel shoulders on both sides of the roadway. P4P plans to submit a petition in support of the current design which more than 550 people have signed to date! We would like to thank everyone involved for supporting the Active Transportation Strategy and this specific project.

Submitted by Dave Cameron

What’s a Sharrow Anyway?

Maybe you have seen them while driving or cycling in other communities. If you have been on Swimming Pool Road north of Delhi lately, you will have seen them there as well. Sharrows are road markings, represented as a bicycle with two chevrons, which remind motorists and cyclists to be courteous and share the road. The sharrows in the middle of the traffic lanes indicate that cyclists may take the full lane and reminds drivers to share the road with cyclists. This video explains how sharrows work

Bicycle Friendly Community Award Program

The Share the Road Coalition offers a Bicycle Friendly Community [BFC] Award program to support and promote communities across Ontario as they make improvements to their cycling infrastructure and culture. 

The BFC Award program reviews the bicycle friendly status of a community within the following five categories: Engineering, Education, Encouragement, Enforcement and Evaluation & Planning. With input from staff in various county departments and Norfolk’s OPP detachment, a comprehensive BFC application was submitted in the fall of 2016, resulting in an Honourable Mention for Norfolk County. 

Along with the Honourable Mention comes a list of recommendations for Norfolk County’s consideration in pursuit of a higher award standing.  

As part of their feedback, the Review Panel noted that “Norfolk County has built strong community connections and partnerships to support cycling, and that the municipality now has the opportunity to highlight their commitment to active transportation as they work to implement the recently passed Active Transportation Plan.” 

Norfolk County staff will now review the recommendations and come up with a plan to reapply in October 2018. Want to get involved? Contact Michele Crowley at the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit – [email protected] 

Waterford Heritage Trail

Standing in a Mexican Mountain forest surrounded by millions of overwintering Monarch butterflies, some resting on an outstretched arm is awe-mazing. Having witnessed such a sight, the Monarch’s plight becomes personal. A little assistance on their yearlong, 5-generation, roundtrip migration north and back to Mexico is warranted.

Along the WHT in open areas amongst the gravel you will find milkweed plants. The WHT supports common milkweed and the Delhi Trail hosts the orange-topped butterfly weed. This year butterfly weed was sighted on the WHT near the Black Bridge. 

We consider the WHT an animal corridor and recently came to realize it is also a pollinator corridor. Like the Lynn Valley Trail, we hope to establish pollinator gardens in appropriate areas. It is similar to geocaching lifting a milkweed leaf to reveal a solitary Monarch egg but spotting a Monarch caterpillar has been elusive. 

On a September trail walk a farm-raised friend was recounting how his father collects butterfly chrysalises and nurtures young butterflies. I mentioned my inability to spot Monarch caterpillars and he pointed to a nearby milkweed leaf and there was not one but two caterpillars munching away on a leaf. 

The spell has been broken and I’m assured of seeing more in the future, maybe tomorrow.

Submitted by Frank Woodcock

Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club

7th Annual TPMBC Fall Ripper

Long Point Eco-Adventures was once again the gathering point for mountain bikers from across Ontario on Sunday September 24th.  Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club hosted its yearly fun ride on a very hot and muggy day (32C). 140 riders came out for a 2-3 hour ride on the trail network followed by LPEA burgers and Tacos Mexico Food Truck burritos. Our usual sponsors were on hand to talk bikes with our guests. The band Soul Shaker provided 3 hours of live classic rock and blues sounds. The event was a success and the club is looking forward to next year’s Ripper.

Emergency Action Plan in Action

In 2016, TPMBC created an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) as prescribed by our 10 year strategic plan. The club enlisted member Ellen Kempmann, EMT by trade, for the task. This was a tough job because our network is large and has difficult terrain in remote places, making emergency rescue tough to execute. That is the nature of the trail network and the sport itself. The EAP is a comprehensive document and, as it turns out, timely. 

At our Fall Ripper, one of the riders had a serious crash that required emergency extraction as he ended up in a precarious location. First responders were the Delhi and Vittoria firefighters. These persons were well trained and worked well as a team along with the Norfolk County EMS.  TPMBC sends out a big thank you to all responders for the professional and efficient rescue/extraction.

PS – The rider suffered a concussion and a broken jaw. Last we heard he is on the road to recovery.

PPS – the Emergency Action Plan worked!

Submitted by Rob Luke

Lynn Valley Trail Association

Fall is in the air and the trail is in wonderful shape! Thanks to Harold Pepper and Sons Ltd. for donating stone, filling and grading a large depression at the Blueline parking lot.

Lynn Valley Trail Association AGM

Thursday, November 2 at 7:30pm
Port Dover Public Library
713 St. George Street, Port Dover
Guest Speakers: Kathy Pickard and Larry Monczka will present a Tour of Norfolk through their camera lenses.

Both photographers live in the historic hamlet of Port Ryerse and have been visually exploring Norfolk with their cameras since 1998. By presenting dual visions of a common theme, Kathy and Larry allow others to share their individual perceptions of the special, but often unnoticed, features found in Norfolk County. Refreshments and mingling to follow. Hope to see you there!

For more information call Diane Luke: 519-428-1385

Flowering Dogwood by Larry Monczka – source