Tomi­fo­bia Na­ture Trail is 20 years old!

Stanstead Journal - - SPORT - Ayer"s Cliff

TheTomi­fo­bia Na­ture Trail, lo­cated be­tween Ayer’s Cliff and Stanstead along the Tomi­fo­bia River is cel­e­brat­ing its 20th an­niver­sary. It is with op­ti­mism and en­thu­si­asm that Mr. Ray Ban­ham, Chair­man of the Board, wishes to em­pha­size that “This an­niver­sary is an op­por­tu­nity for the Tomi­fo­bia Na­ture Trail to thank all our mem­bers, vol­un­teers and all part­ners that have con­trib­uted and con­tinue to con­trib­ute to its main­te­nance.” Du fer au vert! In the early 90s, a group of cit­i­zens came to­gether to cre­ate a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion: Sen­tiers Mas­saw­ippi. Their goal: es­tab­lish green trails that would al­low the pub­lic to dis­cover the nat­u­ral beauty of the Mas­saw­ippi Val­ley. Their first ini­tia­tive was to buy a sec­tion of the for­mer Mas­saw­ippi Val­ley Rail­way from CP Rail: nearly 140 acres of land along the beau­ti­ful Tomi­fo­bia. Their mo­ti­va­tion: to pre­serve the his­tor­i­cal her­itage rep­re­sented by the MVR which for 120 years con­nected the East­ern Town­ships to New­port, Vermont. A fun­da­men­tal con­cern for this group of pioneers was also to pro­tect and en­hance the ex­traor­di­nar­ily rich bio­di­ver­sity char­ac­ter­is­tic of this lin­ear park. Proud of their ef­forts, they in­au­gu­rated the Tomi­fo­bia Na­ture Trail in 1993. A path that goes a long way!

The Tomi­fo­bia Na­ture Trail is now a beau­ti­ful green cor­ri­dor of 19 km, ex­tend­ing from High­way 141 in Ayer’s Cliff to High­way 247 in Stanstead (Beebe Plain). It also pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to the more ad­ven­tur­ous to con­tinue their jour­ney into Vermont. The trail has been main­tained over the past twenty years and new ameni­ties in­stalled. A tun­nel was built, rest ar­eas es­tab­lished, and, at km 13.4, a me­mo­rial site com­mem­o­rat­ing the tragic train ac­ci­dent of 1895 cre­ated. Users have come to en­joy walk­ing or bik­ing a marked, non-paved sur­face with min­i­mum slope. And the gen­eral pub­lic can ap­pre­ci­ate this mag­nif­i­cent trail in all sea­sons. Bio­di­ver­sity at the heart of the trail!

Con­tin­u­ing the ef­forts of the founders, the Board of Di­rec­tors hope, with the help of the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties, to en­sure the pro­tec­tion of wet­lands, as well as to raise aware­ness among users and friends with an en­hanced ed­u­ca­tional com­po­nent. To fol­low!... Did you know by the way that on the trail we meet beaver, tur­tles, deer, foxes and other an­i­mals? Nearly 70 species of birds have been iden­ti­fied!

En­sure the sus­tain­abil­ity of the trail with us! See how good it feels to help pre­serve a nat­u­ral re­source in your com­mu­nity. Be­come a mem­ber and al­low your­self and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to con­tinue to ap­pre­ci­ate the true rich­ness of this site. www.sen­tier­na­ture­tomi­fo­ Walk­ing qui­etly is to dis­cover the beauty that sur­rounds us! Shawn Lanoue, of the Cham­plain Cougars, was cho­sen as Novem­ber’s stu­dent player of the month, re­ceiv­ing a $200 bur­sary to­wards his stud­ies. He is seen here with the team’s coach, Stephan Long­pré.

Photo cour­tesy

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