HRDC program gives boost to trail expansion and other community improvements
By Tim Ruhnke - Journal Editor
VOL.172, NO.17~ PRESCOTT, ONTARIO ~Wednesday, July 31, 2002
PRESCOTT Prescott Blossoms has begun to take root.
Members of the project team met for the first time Monday at the Leo Boivin Community Centre as part of the Youth at Risk program funded by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC).
It was announced earlier this month the federal government would be injecting $147,000 in HRDC funding into the Prescott Blossoms project. Much of the project will focus on expansion of Prescott's Heritage River Trail (formerly referred to as the millennium trail or pathway).
Eleven people were selected to participate in the project through the local Youth at Risk program being overseen by the Town of Prescott. The Prescott Blossoms crew consists of Tamara Murphy, Tanya Telgen, Steffani Boone, Tiffanie Halladay, Michelle Martin, Stephanie Stigen, Colleen Robertson, Robert MacNicoll, Percy La France, Justin Bass and Sam Worboys.
Mike Laking, one of the co-ordinators of Prescott Blossoms, explained participants will receive a unique opportunity to gain valuable experience in a number of areas while taking part in a project that will mean great things for the community.
This week's orientation includes an overview of Prescott Blossoms as well as certification in first aid and other skills relevant to the tasks being performed during the six-month program which will end in February. Paul Boivin, who is overseeing the orientation, noted expectations and goals will be set as part of a process that will benefit the workers and the community as a whole.
"Everybody wins," Boivin said.
Waterfront trail expansion plans developed in conjunction with Parks Canada include gardens, an arboretum and signage. Stigen, who is interested in gardening, landscaping and design work, said it will be nice to be part of something that people will enjoy for many years to come. "My daughter can tell her children I planted that tree," she said.
The group will move outside next Tuesday to begin work on the trail project and in other areas of town being beautified. In addition to the HRDC funding, in-kind donations of more than $180,000 have been made as part of the Prescott Blossoms project. Boivin noted employment skills training will take place at the end of the program as participants prepare to use their experience and new skills to find other jobs.
The town's millennium committee developed and funded the original trail concept to mark the arrival of the year 2000.