2018 was a remarkable year for Sentiers Chelsea Trails. You, our volunteers, members, supporters and sponsors have been involved in projects all over Chelsea that have connected residents and neighbourhoods with nature for now and for the future.
In a rapidly changing municipality, it is vitally important to preserve existing trails wherever possible, and to look for opportunities to develop new active transportation connections. There are many challenges, but we believe we are making good progress. Here are some examples of current SCT projects:
*South of Scott Rd the neighbourhoods of Chelsea Park / Cerisiers / Lilsam and Belle Terre have been connected with a network of walking trails. Dozens of volunteers led by Marc Desjardins devoted hundreds of hours to create trails and build several wooden bridges that allow residents to access the woodlands and natural spaces.
*In Chelsea north volunteers built a bridge and constructed a new neighbourhood connection to the Des Pommiers walking trail. They are currently developing a plan to expand the trail north so it will create a loop. Led by Doug Taylor and Jim Mackinnon, and with the generous support of local land owners, this new loop will lengthen the Des Pommiers trail by approximately 2 kms and connect new residents to the trail network.
*The cherished Musie Pond trail in the Ridge Group was the subject of an application to the MTQ in 2015 that was initiated by the municipality with the support of SCT. In 2018 the MTQ finally approved the application with funding that will allow for renewal and environmentally sensitive improvement of the Musie Ponds Trail. Roberta Walker of SCT is working to coordinate volunteers. New rights of way agreements have been signed with residents to connect chemin Du roc Est with chemin Sarah, greatly improving trail connections in this area.
*An exciting potential for improved active transport in Chelsea is a collaboration with Gazifère to use their right of way along the east of highway 5 to provide an off road multi-functional trail between Old Chelsea road and boulevard De la technologie. There are big challenges including the need for a bridge over Chelsea Creek but also big potential benefits. Work is moving forward coordinated by Michel Hébert.
*Notch Road and Mine Road are being upgraded and SCT members and supporters have been active in lobbying to ensure these roads are equipped with lanes and signage that improve cycling and walking safety.
*A project is being developed with property owners, the municipality, the MRC and St Stephen’s church to create a walking path through the Chelsea centre village. This project, led by Giles Morrell and Lyse Huot, links to other trails on private and NCC lands and will provide a green trail alternative for new residents and visitors in the heart of the village.
In addition, there are plans to clear a trail in 2019 on municipal land between chemin Mountainview and chemin Dunmor.
*Work on the Chelsea Community Trail along the railway corridor has been non-stop in 2018. SCT fund raising helped to ensure the 13th year of winter trail grooming, and SCT organized a highly popular winter trail celebration. SCT board members Doug Taylor and Alain Piché joined other residents on a new Municipal Trail Committee formed to develop recommendations to Council for the trail’s design and construction, building on the input from public consultations held in 2018. Hopefully late in 2019, once priority drainage work has been completed, work can start on the new trail surface. Voie Verte Chelsea, a registered charity, was also created recently to raise funding specifically for the rail corridor trail. Please consider supporting the work of Voie Verte Chelsea . Go to voievertechelsea.ca/
2019 will be a year of big changes for Chelsea. Sentiers Chelsea Trails has communicated with a number of developers involved in new construction and continues to work with the municipality by recommending ways to preserve and improve the trail network and active transportation routes whenever new construction in Chelsea is proposed. This is in keeping with the principles of the Municipality’s Active Transport Master Plan, which was adopted by Council in 2014.
One of our projects in 2019 will be to review the Active Transport Master Plan and to propose updates to Chelsea Council to address the major changes that Chelsea is undergoing. Chelsea is an active community which values active transport and the benefits of walking trails and cycling routes. We want to see all new development incorporate trails that connect us to the natural assets of our region.
All the work we do depends on you, the members and volunteers who support our objectives. We want to sincerely thank those of you who have volunteered your time and energy. And we also wish to thank those property owners who have signed land owner agreements to allow trails to cross their private properties; these revocable agreements have proven to be an invaluable way to connect neighbourhoods. Privacy and protection of the environmental are important to Chelsea residents and are reflected in the approach of SCT to these issues when working with all landowners.
We also extend our thanks and lift our hats to our Trail Leaders and other community partners who contributions help support the grooming of the Chelsea Community Winter Trail. Our Trail Leaders and major sponsors are: Gazifère, Greg Christie’s Ski and Cycleworks, Lafleur de la Capitale, Le Nordik Spa- Nature and PhysioSport Chelsea.
We are proud of our accomplishments in 2018 but much work remains to be done. If you have not done so, please consider getting involved to support Sentiers Chelsea Trails in 2019.
Alain Piché, President
Michel Hébert, Vice-President
Heidi von Graevenitz, Secretary
Jim Mackinnon, Treasurer
Marc Allain, Director
Lyse Huot, Director
Giles Morrell, Director
Karen Nesbitt, Director
Chris Pawluk, Director
Doug Taylor, Director
Roberta Walker, Director