August 22, 2014
For immediate release
Pedestrian bridges to link lands in new Bonshaw hills provincial park
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal
“The new expanded park, that will include the existing Bonshaw and Strathgartney Provincial Parks, will provide Islanders the opportunity to experience and explore some of the most spectacular natural areas in our province,” said the minister. “These new bridges will link land on the north and south sides of the Trans-Canada Highway, and across the West River, making this park land more accessible for hikers, cyclists, snowshoers and other users to enjoy.”
A new Green Road footbridge across the West River will replace the old timber bridge that was washed away due to flooding this spring. A new multi-use pedestrian walkway will be constructed under the Bonshaw Bridge, and this walkway will connect the park land on either side of the Trans Canada Highway. Work on the bridges is expected to be completed late October.
The bridges were included in the 20 recommendations of the Bonshaw Hills Public Lands Committee, composed of government and non-government members who volunteered their time and specialized expertise, presented to government last November following public consultation. The recommendations will ensure the protection and sound management of environmentally sensitive public lands in the Bonshaw Hills.
The park will provide an expansive area for year-round active living and recreation such as hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. A sub-committee was formed to oversee the implementation of the recommendations.
“We heard from the public that the Green Road footbridge needed to be replaced and the committee agreed,” said Jackie Waddell, co-chair of the sub-committee. “Both of these bridges will allow Islanders to explore land that was not previously easily accessible.”
Bio-inventories of the plants and animals in the park land have been conducted to develop a management plan for the park that will ensure sensitive habitat locations are protected as trails are developed and used.
Development planning for the trail system is underway. The pathways connecting Bonshaw and Strathgartney parks will be known as The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall Trail System. A new trail was opened by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales during his visit to Prince Edward Island this summer.