Steps being made to make the South Shore Eco Footpath a reality

by Geoff Craig (published in The Shoreliner, June 2023)

One of our critical strategies to achieve a vision of a permanently protected South Shore is a “point to point” footpath. This initiative was previewed in February’s The South Shoreliner and has only picked up momentum since then. We had a very well-attended Zoom call in April where progress was updated and we had guest speakers from the Bruce Trail Conservancy discussing Landowner relations. Lyndsey Wilkerson, Landowner Stewardship Coordinator, and Klari Kalkman, Landowner Relations volunteer from the Niagara section gave fantastic and inspiring presentations with invaluable information. The net effect was a very tangible feel of what the footpath could look like when it is complete and tips to get us there.


Hiker on South Shore pebble beach
(Photo: Geoff Craig)

From the April meeting, we ran a survey which served to collect feedback and get interest in being part of the South Shore Eco Footpath (SSEFP) initiative as a volunteer. The feedback was fantastic, as a greater than expected number of people indicated they were interested in volunteering. As a result, on May 9th, we had another Zoom call to talk more about the vision for the SSEFP, meet each other and discuss how we kick off working together to bring the Footpath to
life. Which also leads up to the most exciting news which is we had our first ever live volunteer meeting at The Milford Town Hall on Saturday, June 10th. The meeting was followed by a one-hour guided walk on the picturesque Miller Family Nature Reserve, offering an opportunity to further connect with the South Shore and each other.

At the meeting, we provided an overview of our progress, and introduced a pilot concept on the how, what, and where to begin the development of the footpath. We are continuing to look forward to get team feed back, insights, and input on this pilot concept. To begin the path development, we've identified several areas for discussion and volunteer participation, allowing you to contribute your skills and interests to this important initiative. These include:

  • Landowner Relations - Establishing and nurturing positive relationships with landowners to secure access.
  • Trail Development - Leading the way in the design and construction of the path, including the planning, and utilizing best practice from the Bruce Trail Conservancy.
  • Communications - Helping spread awareness about our initiative through various channels, including social media, newsletters, and community outreach.
  • In the near future - Innovative ideas and suggestions for other tasks, challenges, and volunteer opportunities are welcome.


Hiker on South Shore limestone beach
(Photo: Geoff Craig)

The June 10th meeting was participatory and leveraged the diverse interests and expertise of our volunteer community. Together, we can make the South Shore Eco Footpath a reality and create a lasting impact on the biodiversity of the South Shore, benefiting both the environment and the residents of Prince
Edward County. It is not too late to join us.

If you are interested in rolling up your sleeves in one of the aforementioned areas, and being a part of something important and special, please send an email to Geoff Craig.

Your SSEFP Volunteer Leads are: Geoff Craig, Mark Paddison, Joe Dale, Maggie Martin, and Peter Jepson