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September 6, 2005
For immediate release

Tree Planting Marks Completion of Eco-Tourism Project In Central Kings

Development and Technology

Kayakers, canoeists and other nature enthusiasts were joined today by the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Member of Parliament for Cardigan, the Honourable Mike Currie, Minister of Technology and Development and Mr. Bruce MacLennan, President of the Central Kings Development Committee for a tree-planting ceremony to mark the completion of a major eco-tourism project for the Municipality of Central Kings.

“In recent years, the Municipality of Central Kings has worked hard to identify a project that would create economic opportunities for residents and highlight the natural beauty of this area,” said Mr. MacAulay, on behalf of the Honourable Joe McGuire, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Honourable Belinda Stronach, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal. “This eco-tourism development is a perfect fit for Central Kings. I applaud the community for their environmental stewardship and their vision in creating an attraction that will bring visitors to Eastern PEI for outdoor adventures.”

The project began in March 2005 and involved the development of the Boughton River Waterfront Park and the Boughton River Water Trail. The park, located in Bridgetown, features a gazebo with visitor information, a parking area and a trailhead with a floating dock for entrance to the water trail. The water trail itself provides 12 kilometres of sheltered paddling for canoeing and kayaking, with five smaller floating dock stations along the way to encourage visitors to explore the other natural sights of the Boughton River Watershed.

“It’s incredible to see what a community can do when people work together,” said Minister Currie. “This has always been the theory behind the Community Development concept – that communities know best what improvements they need and are willing to work hard to make them work. To see what you have accomplished here certainly proves that this concept is a good one.”

Two viewing platforms were also constructed as part of the project, to give visitors the opportunity to appreciate local wildlife, waterfowl and vistas. The Mt. Hope Viewing Tower, the larger of the two at 30 feet high, is located in the Forest Hill Wildlife Management area and offers vistas of Doc’s Marsh with surrounding meadows, woodlands and farmland. The Whitlock’s Wildlife Observation Platform, located on the north bank of Whitlock’s Pond, is approximately 12 feet high and provides viewing opportunities of local waterfowl and wildlife.

“A project like this one could not have been possible without the support and cooperation of all levels of government as well as participation from the many volunteers. Eco- and agro-tourism are the trends of the future and are a good investment for communities doing development on PEI. We have a lot to offer,” said Mr. MacLennan, president of the development committee. “I would also like to thank the Boughton River Watershed Enhancement Association for their support and guidance throughout this whole process.”

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) provided a non-repayable contribution of $259,875 under the Strategic Communities Investment Fund (SCIF) to the Central Kings Eco-tourism Project. The Canada/PEI Labour Market Development Agreement, co-managed by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and the provincial Department of Development and Technology provided an additional $59,046 in wages and overhead costs. The Province of Prince Edward Island contributed $48,500 and the Municipality of Central Kings added $20,500 to the project.

Media Contact: Ann Thurlow
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