LionsLocal politicians joined members of the Sunderland Lions Club over the weekend to celebrate grand opening of the village’s new walking trail.

Stretching a kilometre through the fairgrounds, the route was designed as a recreation destination for residents of all ages and abilities.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation contributed more than $90,000 in funding for the project, with the remaining $60,000 generated through the Lions’ fundraising initiatives.

Patty Smith, a grant review team member for the Ontario Trillium Foundation, joined area MPP Laurie Scott and members of Township council in congratulating the club at an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday (June 10).

“This investment by the Ontario Trillium Foundation to construct this walking trail is great news for residents,” Scott said.

“There are many in the community who will benefit from this and it ensures that the space remains accessible for all.”

In addition to the construction of the paved walking trail, finishing touches included the placement of decorative stones and custom made gates, along with the planting of 15 trees and the creation of a garden. Three resting stations with benches, waste bins and animal waste bag dispensers have been placed in strategic places along the trail.

The walking trail is used by a variety of residents in the community and the Township has committed to keeping it maintained and open all year.

A variety of schools and community organizations are now using the trail for a variety of events and fundraisers.

“The impact of this grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation cannot be underestimated,” said Brock Township Mayor John Grant.

“This grant has allowed Sunderland Lions Club to implement the project and mobilize community volunteers to give more than 1,000 hours making this project a reality. Our fairgrounds area are now completed to provide recreation opportunities for all residents regardless of age and ability and can now accommodate people with mobility issues to serve our community better.”

“Lions Club has delivered another project to make Sunderland an even better place to live in,” added Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell.

With the trail now completed, the Lions will shift their fundraising focus to help finance an expansion of the ice surface at the Sunderland Memorial Arena, as well as improvements to the building.

“The Sunderland Lions Club has again demonstrated the ability to take on a large project,” said Rino Pandolfi, club president.

“Now when project is successfully completed, we are ready to take on the much needed renovation and upgrade of the arena ice surface.”

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