Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Nokiidaa Trail Link Through the McKenzie Marsh Work in Progress

Today was probably my third or fourth time tracking (photographing) progress of the Nokiidaa Trail link that will soon connect the St. John’s Sideroad boardwalk to the Tim Taylor Newmarket trail, and of course, will complete the Town of Aurora section of the Nokiidaa Trail.

From the beginning of the proposal, I have always been excited about the trail link. In the past, we biked all the way to the Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area, and biking on Yonge Street always felt unsafe. Now that I have a child, I do a lot of walking around the town, and this link will give me new walking opportunities and more nature photography.

Nokiidaa Trail Link, March 19, 2011

A few weeks ago, the gravel driveway was started. The following week, the posts were inserted into the still frozen water. As of today, I have seen a section of the boardwalk. Not to mention the major excavation further north of the boardwalk that is yet to be completed.

When the trail was proposed, my vision of it was simple – a maximum 2-meter wide low boardwalk with a small gravel driveway leading to it, and signs warning about overflow waters in the spring. To my great surprise, this project is humongous. It’s no wonder the Hadley Grange seniors were protesting against it. I think it is overkill for what is necessary to cross to the other side, especially considering there is another big boardwalk just seconds away.

This project has already disturbed the wildlife in the wetland as the work in progress continues.

Nokiidaa Trail Link, March 26, 2011

As I ran quickly to snap some pictures of the work in progress, a lady approached my husband in the car. Then she approached me, asking why I was taking pictures. I cautiously answered, “just tracking progress.” She confronted me, “do you think this is progress?” “No, I am tracking work in progress,” I corrected myself, and decided not to tell her that it was for my blog photo journal. “We fought against this for two years. We had so many birds, and now we only get four. The beaver is gone, I don’t know about the mink. I heard that the owner of the land beside the rail tracks offered to donate the land and build the bypass there, in order to stop this project. This project’s cost is probably over a million dollars of taxpayers’ money,” a summary she gave me before I could speak. I usually listen more than talk, but I was curious. “You must have seen plans for this?” “No, they did not give us any plans, nor told us the magnitude of the project. It was just supposed to be a small bypass,” she replied.

Nokiidaa Trail Link, April 02, 2011

So how much truth is there? I don’t know. It is my first time having a conversation with a nice stranger, or an Aurora citizen, about this topic. I started a little digging, and to my surprise, I cannot find any plans for this project, not even a simple summary. How about the environmental studies? Where are they? I thought information like that was public knowledge. Or was the Town of Aurora afraid to present the project plan to its citizens because the project could potentially have been scrapped? Well, the $500,000 amount tells a lot about this project.

Nokiidaa Trail Link, April 02, 2011

Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.

Martin Luther King Jr.

To conclude, the beauty of nature is that it has its ways to repair itself. I am sure that as long as we respect the new trail link, life will grow around it again. This opinion aligns with my backyard wildlife observations – that is, the little wildlife in my backyard is never the same from season to season or changes I made over the years.

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