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Workshops focus on broadening public outreach in developing the G2G Rail Trail

The Guelph to Goderich Rail Trail Advisory Committee is looking for ways to bring the walking, biking and hiking trail into the future.

The G2G committee is looking for volunteers and board members with new ideas and a can-do attitude. The idea is to get the stories of the trail out to the public.

“What we have is ten ideas and one person to put it together, but what we need is ten people to work on one idea. We have come up with ideas in previous workshops and now we are looking for people to put them together,” said Doug Cerson, executive director of the G2G advisory committee. “We have all these communities along this fairly prominent transportation route over 100 years, and there are a lot of stories and a lot of deep-rooted stories of how Ontario came to be Ontario, and a lot of this is based on these rail lines.”

The group just held the third in a series of four workshops, Leadership and Project Creation, is about bringing technology to the 127-kilometre trail. The workshop is not only focused on connecting trail users to their surroundings, but also to remember the past.

The workshops, titled Trails & Heritage, have already brought plenty of interesting ideas to the table, all surrounding the value of the trail to current and past populations.

“We started thinking about how we can use technology physically on the trail, as well as embed that into our web presence. We are trying to get ahead. A trail is an old tool and the Internet is relatively new. We don’t want to leave out the new people who are using the trails,” said Cerson. “We wanted to see if there was a marriage between taking the history and connecting them with cloud-based systems. We want to have archiving, and we are also pinning. We want to figure how to ask trail users to take their photos and pin them, but we need to figure out which program to use.”

To keep the rail trail history at the forefront of trail-users’ mind, one of the ideas that came forward at previous workshops was to add a dramatic flair to the story of the trail.

“There are so many great community theatre groups along the trail from Guelph to Elmira and further. And someone said, ‘why don’t we commission a play about the history of the rail trail?’” said Cerson. “There is just so much untapped local history that is untapped in our backyard. Over the last few years, all of these stories have been coming up.”

The next session is on Mar. 22 at 6 p.m. The fourth workshop will be focused on the launch of the group’s spring fundraising campaign.

For more information on the committee’s plans, or to volunteer, visit their website at www.g2grailtrail.com, or send them an email at info@g2grailtrail.com.

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