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WEBC finalizes donations for phase two of cycling trails

The Windsor-Essex Bike Community (WEBC) has scored another donation, this one courtesy of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg.


The Rotary Club voted in favour of a $2,500 donation to WEBC at its March 13 meeting. WEBC directors and volunteers made two presentations to the Rotary Club in the past six months explaining the project and what is expected in phase two of the three-phase bicycle trail project at the Libro Centre.


“We’ve been talking about this for a while,” said Susanne Rainhard, president of the Rotary Club of Amherstburg.


Rainhard noted that as part of the sponsorship program, the Rotary Club will get its name on signage that will be installed as part of trails system around the Libro Centre, behind the berms and the arena itself.


The donation will help the project, and the community, Rainhard believed and there is value to the club as well.


“By making a donation, we are getting our name out there,” she said. “Everybody wins.”


Members of WEBC pose for photo on a bike trail.

James Braakman, a director with WEBC, stated pirior to a donation from Walker Aggregates that they have raised over $29,000 since mid-December for the second phase. He said all the funds have been raised from donations made by individuals, residents, local businesses, and organizations. 


“We are still looking to raise more money to fund some of the major plans we have to make Phase 2 a premiere venue unlike anything else in the area/region,” said Braakman. “Moreover, between Phase 1 & Phase 2, to date we have raised $65,000 total for the Libro Centre trails project. This $65,000 in donations is a lot of money for a small and new organization like WEBC to raise in less than 12 months and we are very proud and grateful for these incredible donations, however I think it’s really important the public realizes the incredible value WEBC is offering to Amherstburg.”


The donations grew in the days following that, not just by the Rotary Club of Amherstburg, but by a donation from Walker Aggregates. The latter donated $20,000 in materials for the second phase.


“We cannot even begin to describe how thankful we are to Walker Aggregates for their incredible donation! This donation will provide WEBC the resources needed to make Phase 2 of the Libro Centre trails more awesome than we could have ever dreamed of!” WEBC said in a social media post. “WEBC can now carry out some extremely exciting plans for Phase 2 of the Libro Centre trails! We think some of these big plans and trail upgrades for Phase 2 will help change the landscape of mountain biking in Windsor & Essex County!”


WEBC estimates the trail network would cost between $750,000-$1 million if the town were to contract it out, but said they are doing it at little cost to taxpayers.

“With WEBC as a non-profit doing all of the trail design, preparation, and trail construction labor through our volunteers we are building a million dollar venue for Amherstburg at a fraction of the cost,” he said. “This is the amazing advantage of our land stewardship agreement between WEBC & the town of Amherstburg. WEBC gets to build trails on the town’s land, and Amherstburg and its residents get a premiere recreation venue at no taxpayers dollars and at a fraction of the normal price, since we are using our expertise and free volunteer labor.”


Following completion of the second phase, WEBC will look to get the third and final phase approved. If it gets that approval from town council, it could create up to 10 km of single-track mountain bike trails at the Libro Centre by summer 2025.


“Most importantly, these trails will be the home for North Star High School’s ‘Mountain Monsters’ mountain bike club (developed in partnership with WEBC), and will be the main trail network in Essex County to host local mountain bike races, skill clinics, group rides, and festivals that should attract thousands of riders / visitors to town. Through these visitors to the Libro Centre trails, we also feel this project will greatly benefit local businesses, restaurants, and hotels. Ultimately, by WEBC building these trails at no cost to local taxpayers, we feel we are providing an incredible recreation venue that will create massive social, economic, and tourism benefits for Amherstburg for years to come.”


WEBC has also applied for a trillium grant for the Libro Centre trails that, if approved, would see WEBC purchase a major shade structure for the trails, trail equipment storage facilities at the Libro Centre property, and other needed equipment and tools to improve trail maintenance for the Libro Trails. In addition, Braakman said WEBC is also working with the town to hopefully plant hundreds of new trees at the Libro Trails this fall. 


“These trees would also be purchased by a pending grant we hope to get approval on later this year,” he said.


Future plans could include more trail building in town, with WEBC having their eyes on several other areas in town as possibilities. 


To learn more about WEBC, check out their website at www.webcride.com.


WEBC finalizes donations for phase two of cycling trails

By Ron Giofu

 

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