The Walking Trail in Mitchell’s Bay Park was the first project worked on and completed by the Mitchell’s Bay Area Association in partnership with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. Under the direction of committee member, Jean Laprise, the three phase project which included the cleanup of the park and installation of the walking trail began.
Phase One started in October of 2011 when the historical dumping ground at the South East corner of the park was sorted and burnt. Thirteen tri-axle truckloads of debris were taken to the landfill. Dangerous and/or overgrown trees within the park were trimmed or removed to insure the safe use of the trail.
Phase Two began November of 2011. The one kilometer trail was designed and laid out to provide some character as well as two possible trail routes. Excavation of the trail to a depth of approximately 6” to 8” in depth provides excess dirt which was used in other areas of the park that needed levelling. Excess dirt was used to elevate the South East corner to create a focal point in the park. Future building in this area has been discussed by association members and the MBAA are looking for community support for ideas, materials and in kind labour! The trail was then lined with filter cloth and back filled with lime stone screenings.
Phase Three was completed in May of 2012. In this phase the trail was regraded after the winter settling to provide a level walking surface. As well, the grassed over area of the gravelled parking lot was excavated and a new 375’ sidewalk was installed. This provided a clean and clear division between the grassed park area and the parking lot and also completed the second route of the trail. The parking lot was then graded in order to change the slope to increase water flow to the catch basin and fill in the large low areas with gravel. Finally, the South East corner of the park was seeded to increase the green area in that corner which was disturbed during construction.
Today many people enjoy the peace and beauty that the walking path provides. The Mitchell’s Bay Area Association would like to thank Jean Laprise and his tireless workers and Tom Beaton and the Parks and Recreation Department, Municipality of Chatham-Kent for making this dream become a reality for the residents and visitors of Mitchell’s Bay.