Feb 25, 2021
A Bridge to Our Heritage
From David Rintoul, CVC Foundation Volunteer
This spring, Island Lake Conservation Area is preparing for its 51st summer season. Pioneers settled the conservation area’s 329 hectares and its surrounding area in the 1850s. My ancestors were part of that first wave of homesteaders.
I still remember when crews built the two dams that created Island Lake. It was during our 1967 Centennial Year. We gained a cherished recreation resource when the conservation area opened in 1970.
In those days, it was mainly the local community who knew about and used Island Lake for leisure activities. We spent many hours canoeing and exploring the lake. Those experiences introduced me and so many others to our deep connection with nature and wildlife.
As Orangeville developed into an urban centre known for its outstanding quality of life, Island Lake Conservation Area has become increasingly popular. That popularity has inspired a series of improvements led by the Friends of Island Lake – a fundraising committee of CVC Foundation made up of community members dedicated to ensuring that we all benefit from quality educational, interpretive and recreational experiences in nature.
Those improvements were only possible with the generous support of community members, local businesses, service clubs and park visitors like you.
Over time, this generosity of spirit has resulted in world-class features like the Vicki Barron Lakeside Trail, the recently completed perimeter trail and the distinctive amphitheatre, set on piers above the water. Volunteers organized by the Friends of Island Lake and inspired by the community’s generosity have devoted over 10,000 hours of labour each year to establish the 10-kilometre trail system with its beautiful boardwalks.
As we look forward to spring, the Friends of Island Lake have a new vision for improving the trail landscape and they need your help to achieve it.
A beautiful 70-foot covered bridge is being developed, using traditional architecture that will provide an authentic community connection to our region’s past (conceptual drawing pictured above).
Historically, covered bridges were used to protect sensitive infrastructure from the elements. Today, they remind us of a simpler time and add a touch of charm to your journey across the water. Only 10 per cent of Canada’s historic covered bridges from the 19th century remain intact today.
It’s my hope that you will join me in supporting the Friends of Island Lake with a charitable donation to help them achieve this vision. Large or small, your donation will make a difference to our community’s heritage for generations to come. Help us celebrate the coming of spring by contributing to this landmark project.
Hoping to cross paths with you and your family on the trails this spring.
CVC Foundation Volunteer