N E W S & U P D A T E S
Wednesday, February 10th, 1999
We were pleased that the winter weather held off long enough for the Klomp's Landscaping crew to complete the job of installing the necessary retaining walls at the corners of the two bridges. The existing erosion problem was summarily dealt with by this work. The spring runoff should not be a factor in gouging ever deeper crevices in the embankments.
Fundraising is our on-going concern. Last October the Grand Trunk Trail committee submitted an application/proposal to the Canada Millennium Partnership Program. We were supposed to have heard the result of our application in early January but, when I placed a call to Ottawa on Monday, February 1, I was told that many applications had been received and the selection committee was behind in informing the applicants. The answer to my question, "Do you know when we'll find out?" was met with the reply, "The letter is in the mail." So we anxiously await the arrival of said letter.
A fundraising scheme that holds no mystery for us is one that is sponsored by W.F.Douglas Ltd. Decorating Centre and Benjamin Moore & Co. Ltd. Sharon Grech is a Design and Colour consultant and a "faux finish" artist at Benjamin Moore's Toronto office. She is a regular presenter on CITY TVs City Line. Her professional profile lists an impressive number of decorating credentials and I've heard people say that she has a delightful personality to compliment her expertise. Sharon will be presenting a seminar at the St. Marys Legion Hall on Thursday, February 25 beginning at 7:30 pm. All proceeds from the evening will be donated to the GTT's fundraising efforts. Yippee! Let's all go to learn how to smoosh! The seminar is scheduled to last 1½ hours. The following is the outline of the presentation:
Tickets are $10 and available at Douglas'. (GTT members have 25 to sell, too.) If you want more information, call Douglas' at 284-3740 or drop in to the shop at 144 Queen Street, St. Marys.
The Grand Trunk Trail project attracted the interest of the editor of ACORN, the Journal of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario. Editor Dan Schneider lives just north of town and asked if the GTT could provide a story about the beginnings of the Trail but concentrating on the Sarnia Bridge. The Journal has carried several stories to date about remarkable Ontario bridges that have seen better days or, more sadly, have been demolished. He asked us to write about our Sarnia Bridge within the context of the GTT as a success story. The drafts have been sent off for his editing. Our remarkable Sarnia Bridge will be a "cover girl" in Spring '99! Neither the Library nor the Museum has a subscription to ACORN at present but I'll ask Dan to send a copy or two of Spring '99 so anyone interested in reading the article can access at those two places.
Christmas sales of plaques for the planks totaled $590. Thank-you to all who kept the GTT in mind for your gift giving. Valentine's Day, a birthday or anniversary are occasions that might also merit a lasting gift toward the completion of the Trail. In fact, Julie Robson will be at the Post Office on Friday, Feb. 12. You will have the opportunity to give your Valentine a lasting reminder of your love with a plaque inscribed with your names joined with a heart, a Valentine's card and a silk rose for $40. One day only-don't miss your chance! The regular donation information hasn't changed: Town Hall (main floor), VIA station and St. Marys Museum.
Effective December 31/99 the price of plaques will rise to a minimum of $45. Those who showed their faith in the Grand Trunk Trail project at the beginning got their plaques for the original price of $35 and there still remains over 10 months to take advantage of that original price. This is just a pre-increase notification. If you've been looking for a good reason to make your donation, maybe this will be the one.
A request if I may: homeowners with property abutting the Trail have lots of walkers much closer to their properties than they used to have. When you are out for your walk, will you consider the privacy of these people? The temptation to look in back yards or through a window can be almost irresistible but, please try to resist especially at this time of year when there are no leaves on the trees.
I know I am anticipating spring weather but this request goes out to anyone who has some time to help install the plaques on the Sarnia Bridge. When the weather becomes consistently warmer and drier, groups of five or six souls with screwdrivers will be needed to afix the plaques. A battery powered screwdriver, probably Robertson head, will be ideal for the task. Call 284-1122 to offer your services when the time comes.
Our Naturalization sub-committee, chaired by Pat Donnelly, will be using the digital mapping files of St. Marys to do its planning. A great deal of research is going into the selection of flora that will best enhance the Trail. With the support of the Perth Stewardship Network and Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, the naturalization committee has a lot of expertise to use in this work.
Remember our pre-Valentine's plaque promotion on Friday the 12th and the decorating seminar on the 25th!