Friday, 23 August 2019

Formalizing the HRM Trail Strategy



In January, HRM issued Future Roles and Responsibilities of Community Trails Associations with Respect to Active Transportation Facilities


Over the past 20 years CHPTA has been working with HRM and the province to establish and maintain trails in our area. This work has evolved rather ad-hoc and is becoming more and more challenging for all volunteer groups. We've worked very hard in a sometimes uncertain arrangement.  This report proposes updates to trail management agreements and recognizes some significant challenges. 


First it acknowledges that groups like CHPTA have built about 75% of the Active transportation trail system largely with HRM funding. In this report CHPTA is recognized as an "operator" for the Shearwater Flyer, Salt Marsh and Heritage Trails and a "Supporter" for the Forest Hills and Bissett Trails. 



HRM primarily funds what it calls Active Transportation trails - those trails that directly connect home with work, shopping and school. The report recognizes that a comprehensive trail system that includes recreational trails (just about all other trails including those in the Cole Harbour Heritage Park) is vital to a healthy sustainable community.  The most significant aspect is the development of an up to date Administrative Order that will go a long way to streamlining funding processes and better outline HRM and community group rights and responsibilities. 

Part of the Administration Order will tackle the long standing issue of Municipal/Provincial cooperation - an area that desperately needs improving. The linked document is a relatively quick read and represents a significant step forward along with a formal recognition of the vital role groups like CHPTA play in providing safe and enjoyable trails for citizens and visitors.