Evans Sisters’ Water Trail
For Immediate Release
St. Thomas — Kettle Creek Conservation Authority will be using a $155,000 donation from the Estate of Donna Vera Evans Bushell to create Elgin County’s first water trail, allowing enhanced public access to the Dalewood Reservoir and Kettle Creek.
“It’s a privilege to work with the Bushell Estate to enhance the public’s ability to experience wilderness in their backyard,” says Elizabeth VanHooren, KCCA’s General Manager. “We had a vision to create Elgin’s first water trail – this donation will make it a reality.”
Dalewood Conservation Area is the Authority’s urban conservation area, but maintains wilderness appeal. Encompassed by 25 hectares of provincially significant wetlands, the public can see bald eagles, osprey and spectacular vistas – but only with access to the water.
KCCA will be enhancing trail access from Dalewood Road to a day-use area with a new canoe and kayak launch spot. A 2.8 km water trail will be marked leading users through the Dalewood Reservoir and north into Kettle Creek. To ensure that the public can access the trail, canoes and kayaks will be purchased to rent to the community throughout the summer months.
“We are very excited to be able to work with the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority to establish the new Evans’ Sisters Water Trail,” remarked Andrew Gunn, Consultant on the Estate of Donna Vera Evans Bushell. “With the direct link between the urban area of the City of St. Thomas to the Dalewood Conservation Area, we believe that this is an excellent way to provide local residents and visitors the opportunity to come down to the water, rent a canoe or kayak, and go exploring. This kind of access to natural areas is important for everyone, and during the current pandemic, we know that individuals and families have been using local trails more and more. We look forward to the opening of the Water Trail.”
Work on the enhancements will begin this summer with the aim to have the new water trail, launching area, and rentals available next summer. With this generous donation, the Authority also plans to make improvements to bridges and boardwalks throughout the Dalewood Reservoir Hiking Trail and sustain and develop its tree planting program.
Donna Vera Evans Bushell passed away November 9, 2019, in her hundredth year, the last of her family. Donna’s passion was to plant trees and reminisce about her ancestors and friends while her sister, Doris Evans, taught music as a church organist. The older sister, Thelma Joiner, taught elementary school. The new “Evans Sisters’ Water Trail” will be a living testament to the three sisters, and a valued addition to the local community.
Kettle Creek Conservation Authority (KCCA) was established in 1965 with a mission to guide the conservation of ecosystems on a watershed basis. KCCA ensures the conservation, restoration and responsible management of water, land and natural habitats throughout the Kettle Creek watershed, benefitting seven municipalities (City of London, City of St. Thomas, Middlesex Centre, Thames Centre, Township of Southwold, Malahide Township, and the Municipality of Central Elgin).
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Kettle Creek Conservation Authority
Consultant, The Estate of Donna Vera Evans Bushell
Andrew Gunn and Maddie King, Consultants on the Estate of Donna Vera Evans Bushell, joined Elizabeth VanHooren, General Manager of the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority, at the Dalewood Conservation Area to highlight a donation of $155,000 from the Estate to the Conservation Authority to support the new “Evans Sisters’ Water Trail” as well as improvements to the hiking trail at Dalewood and new tree planting projects.