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2017 Don't Miss a Step Event!

Get the details about TVTA's 2017 Don't Miss a Step End-to-End Hike! In celebration of Canada's 150 anniversary, TVTA is offering a special draw for hikers who complete an End-to-End (E2E) during 2017. Download a PDF with all event details. Contest is open to both TVTA members and non-members.

 

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Trails in London - Your Guide to London's Best Hiking for Health

Spring is coming.

 

While we are also enjoying the rest of all that the winter season has to offer out on the trails, we wanted to reshare a great article published last year by Dr. Hardick.com about Trails in London - Your Guide to London's Best Hiking for Health.

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Finding new volunteer leaders for TVTA

Are you interested in developing your skills or trying something new? Have you thought about taking on a volunteer position with our Thames Valley Trail Association Board of Directors?

 

By Judy Kwasnica

 

My plan as Past President during 2017 is to help fill vacant Board of Director positions through succession planning and finding new committee volunteers so that our organisation can continue to run smoothly. We're 80% of the way there now, but we do have some immediate portfolios open that we are working through with succession planning. At the same time, we need new volunteers to come forward to tell us if they are interested in joining as a board member, helping in another capacity, or just learning more.

 

Time commitment

Much of our work can be done by email correspondence now. We have defined roles and responsibilities for each director portfolio and other positions.  Three people currently chair the ten monthly board meetings held on Monday nights.  All members are invited to observe at these meetings if you would like to come out to get a sense of who we are and what we do.

 

We have also identified some jobs and duties available below to if you aren’t ready to commit to becoming a Board member just yet. This will not only assist the TVTA Board to continue to develop and meet the needs of the association but give you a chance to get involved with no set commitment other than the particular task at hand.  

 

Board positions also come with training and transitional information sharing from the

previous person who held the position. What a great opportunity for people to learn something new, share expertise or take on a leadership role!

 

It's important for TVTA to plan and prepare for succession planning so that the work of our volunteer board members, liaison, hike leader or other, continues to help our organisation to thrive.

 

What are your interests?

Let us know if you are interested in any of the following volunteer Board positions or jobs with TVTA.

Current open Board positions:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Trail Development Director
  • Trail Captains and Trail Maintenance Workers

 

Possible TVTA Volunteer Jobs - 2017

  • Assist with our upcoming June picnic – ticket sales, supplies, setting up, BBQ lunch
  • Assist with Public Relations – we always need help with our Twitter, email newsletters, blogging and more!
  • Help to assist with our Trails Open event in April
  • Help us apply for awards
  • Volunteers are needed to help with our AGM to be held on Thursday, November 7 at the Riverside United Church.
  • Join our Constitution Committee
  • Represent TVTA at the London Environmental Committee meetings (4 times per year plus attend a free workshop)
  • Trekker Newsletter – seek advertisers, proofread, and help us drop off newsletters to Canada Post
  • Pick up and help distribute mail from Grosvenor Lodge (once per week)

 

Contact Judy Kwasnica (kwasnica@sympatico.ca) or our webpage www.tvta.ca to learn how you can get involved.

 


About Judy Kwasnica, past president, TVTAPictured: Judy Kwasnica, past president, TVTA

 

Judy has served on the TVTA Board for five years and has been a member since 2008 when she first began hiking with the group and then helping to lead Tuesday Rambler Hikes. She is an active and avid hiker. Her favourite TVTA trail hike is Komoka Park.

 

Judy has also helped to update and distribute TVTA Guidebooks and became a Certified Hike Leader in 2011.

 

She is a retired elementary school teacher (since June 2008) and enjoys the outdoors and nature.

 

She encourages everyone to come out to the TVTA AGM meeting to hear about the club's accomplishments and contact her if you are interested in getting involved by emailing kwasnica@sympatico.ca.

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Suggestions to reduce TVTA's Overall Footprint - by Teresa Rutten

 

1. Offer ONE monthly hike in 3-4 neighbourhoods, where the expectation was for people to walk or cycle to the hike destination.

We have several members that actively pursue long hikes (Camino, etc.) and cycle long distances outside of TVTA events.

 

London, has been actively attempting to strengthen neighbourhoods and invested heavily in developing trail systems adjacent to neighbourhoods.  We could start within neighbourhoods that have the highest membership and availability of leaders. 

 

TVTA offers numerous options to hike. Splitting the groups up once a month, does not significantly reduce hiking options and has the potential of acquainting ourselves with our neighbours.

 

Social media, the Urban League, London Environmental Network, various local media and the city - would have a strong interest in RECOGNIZING & SUPPORTING such an endeavor.

 

The TVTA is a member of the London Environmental Network - what is our focus?

 

Congestion in London in an ongoing problem.

 

If we set a specific day of the month and time - coordination would be easy. i.e. The first Sat., or Sun. of each month beginning at 10 am so as to give people time to reach the hike destination.

 

I would be willing to lead either Sat. or Sun. from Thames Park.

 

2.  Either have reusable (dishes, utensils) on hand OR habitually have members BYO reusables (food container, plate, cup, bottle & utensils - tupperware works well!

 

WHY? 

  • This would empower individuals to habitually reduce their waste.
  • Place pressure on businesses to incorporate the PLANET, people and profit within their business plans.
  • Offer inspiration to others!
  • Normalize aiming for ZERO waste.   Waste and recycling contribute pollution and green house gases during every step of their life cycle. As well as uses non-renewable resources throughout the life cycle of each product.  Conflict over resources will escalate given rising population and poverty rates. Waste, recylcable, and litter do not add value. If we developed a contagion in this area, how many value items could London target as a result of the savings?

 

3. Source local, organic, seasonal, non-packaged produce for our TVTA functions, as this has a lower footprint.  We have lots of creativity within the TVTA membership. This could be a fun challenge.  Suggestion: Hire a member or a local business to provide this service, as they would be able to reuse containers. 

4. Have individual hikers bring a plastic bag, so as to pick up small items of garbage along the hikes.

5. Other?
 

Most IMPORTANTLY! It is my hope for TVTA to adopt these suggestions as POLICY.  I believe, TVTA would be commended for taking the lead and inspiring other groups within the London Environmental Network to replicate some of our efforts. As well as encourage OTHER LEN groups to provide additional creative ACTION oriented initiatives.

 

These suggestions would take very little effort, and over time would become second nature.

 

Your feedback would be appreciated.  I am not techno savvy, yet made an attempt at the following short survey. Hopefully - it works.

 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Y3DQQRK

Reducing TVTA's Overall Environmental Footprint Survey
www.surveymonkey.com

Thanks for your time, attention and consideration.

 

Teresa

 

 

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Experience of Hiking the TVTA Trail through the Delaware - Miller Road to Gideon Drive section

The Exploration Project blog has a new post about hiking a section of the TVTA. Read all about it on their Documenting Journeys blog

Have a look through Heather's other posts about hiking in Ontario

 

Want to share your own experience? Be a guest blogger and share your thoughts, knowledge, photos and more, especially if its about being on the TVTA trail! Contact d@daniellegrandine.com.

 

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Bill 100 Supporting Ontario's Trails Act, 2016

If you’ve been out hiking the Thames Valley Trail recently, you may have come across signage about closure of trail section(s) like the picture (right). Some landowners have placed signage as a result of concerns about easements in Bill 100, Supporting Ontario’s Trails Act, currently being debated by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

 
The TVTA continues to build relationships with local landowners, and is supporting the work of Hike Ontario to resolve their concerns. We are also sharing information to help correct some of the misinformation about easements in Bill 100 that has been published in news media articles. Tom Friesen, President of Hike Ontario, submitted a letter to the Ontario Farmer to help address some of the confusion about easements in Bill 100. With his permission, we are providing his letter below for your information. As this issue develops, the TVTA will continue to keep members informed.

Tom Friesen

MISINFORMATION ABOUT EASEMENTS – by Tom Friesen

Erroneous information about two Bills that are before the Ontario Legislature has been recently circulated to various media (including the Ontario Farmer weekly newspaper) by the Ontario Landowners Association (OLA), a group committed to the cause of property rights in rural areas. This misinformation, if not corrected, stands as a threat to all types of trails on private land throughout Ontario.

 

In spring 2015, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Michael Coteau, put an Ontario Trails Act out for review. An internet search for “Bill 100 Ontario” will bring up the text of the proposed Act.  Section 12 of the Act (Easements) would provide a new ability for landowners and incorporated trail groups to voluntarily enter into easements to secure the route of the trail. Section 12(3) entitled “Granting of Easements” states “An owner of land may grant an easement….”, clearly indicating a voluntary choice on the part of the owner. The OLA misrepresentation is that with the passage of the legislation, the Government would force easements onto all owners with existing footpaths and snowmobile trails.  This misrepresentation has already resulted in the closure of 10 snowmobile trails in Muskoka and threats of closure to long standing portions of the Thames Valley Trail.

 

In response to concerns raised by the Ontario Trails Council (OTC), Minister Coteau issued a statement (attached) on Feb. 10 on easements that makes quite clear the voluntary nature of this provision in his Ministry’s proposed Bill 100. 

 

The OTC issued a detailed press release which can be seen on their website, which also makes it plain that any easements under the legislation would be entirely a landowner’s decision.

 

Secondarily, an Opposition MPP had introduced a private members’ Bill 118 that clarifies an existing right of the public to walk below the high water mark on most shores of the Great Lakes and their “connecting channels” such as the Detroit River. On Jan. 1, the OLA’s website erred and misrepresented this term to mean that the Government would give the public the right to walk inland along the length of every single watercourse draining into the Great Lakes. (Incidentally, private members’ bills are rarely supported in the Legislature by the Government and instead die on the “order paper.”)

 

I have tremendous respect for the generosity of rural land owners who allow our trails to cross their property. I can understand their mistrust of the provincial government when the farm subsidy on diesel fuel is removed, wind farms are erected over local objections and policies seem to be directed to satisfy urban areas.

 

Trail associations whose existence are dependent on the generosity of farmers and other rural users, insure the trails to protect the owners, close the trails one day a year to maintain farmers’ property rights and inspect and maintain them for the best experience of the users. The truth about trails is that they actually enhance the property value of lands they exist on. They also enhance the quality of life for all Ontarians. 

 

We need to clearly refute the misinformation, communicate clearly and often with landowners and stand beside them to advocate for their rights. Hike Ontario asked for a tax credit to recognize their ongoing gift of the free use of their property to the people of Ontario. I believe that goal should be re-emphasized to correct the damage recently done and reverse the loss of private land for trails.

 

Related information:

Lot's of opinion here. Landowners were involved. It was a public process. I'm a landowner, our President and other...

Posted by Ontario Trails on Tuesday, March 1, 2016
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